Philippine gov’t summons Chinese ambassador over collisions in South China Sea

Agence France-Presse October 23,2023 - 11:31 AM

Chinese ambassador summoned

(FILE) Chinese coast guard ships (L and R) corral a Philippine civilian boat chartered by the Philippine navy to deliver supplies to Philippine navy ship BRP Sierra Madre in the disputed South China Sea, on August 22, 2023. The Philippines accused a Chinese coastguard vessel of colliding on October 22, 2023 with a Philippine resupply boat as it travelled to a tiny garrison in the disputed South China Sea. | Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP

Manila, Philippines —The Philippines summoned Beijing’s ambassador on Monday, October 23, 2023, over two collisions between Philippine and Chinese vessels in the disputed South China Sea, a foreign ministry official said.

“We’re making full use of diplomatic processes… available to us. That includes summoning the Chinese ambassador, which we did this morning,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Teresita Daza told reporters.

The Philippines and China have traded blame over Sunday’s incidents near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands.

READ MORE: Philippines to China: Stop provocative actions in South China Sea

The two collisions happened during a routine Philippine resupply mission to Filipino troops stationed on a crumbling navy vessel grounded on the shoal to assert Manila’s territorial claims.

A Philippine government task force said Sunday the “dangerous blocking manoeuvers of China Coast Guard vessel 5203 caused it to collide with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-contracted indigenous resupply boat” about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the shoal.

China said the “slight collision” happened after the resupply boat ignored “multiple warnings and deliberately passed through law enforcement in an unprofessional and dangerous manner”, state broadcaster CCTV reported Sunday, citing the foreign ministry.

In another incident, a Philippine coastguard vessel escorting the routine resupply mission was “bumped” by what the Philippine task force described as a “Chinese Maritime Militia vessel”.

China, however, accused the Philippine boat of “deliberately” stirring up trouble by reversing in a “premeditated manner” into a Chinese fishing vessel.

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TAGS: accident, China, conflict, diplomacy, Philippines, sea collision

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