Philippines condemns China’s actions in South China Sea against fishing vessels

MANILA: The Philippines condemned China’s “illegal and aggressive actions” in the South China Sea on Saturday (Dec 9), saying China’s coast guard had fired water cannon at a Philippine fisheries bureau vessel conducting a regular resupply mission.

The Philippine task force for the South China Sea, an inter-agency government body, called for China to stop its “aggressive activities” in the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by both countries.

The water cannons had been used at least eight times on Saturday on Philippine civilian vessels, damaging communication and navigation equipment of a fisheries vessel “directly and deliberately targeted by the China Coast Guard”, it said.

Three fisheries bureau vessels were on a supply mission to provide oil and groceries to more than 30 Filipino fishing vessels near the Scarborough shoal.

“To prevent the distribution of humanitarian support is not only illegal but also inhuman,” the task force said.

Chinese Maritime Militia vessels were also reported to have engaged in “dangerous manoeuvres” and deployed a long-range acoustic device that resulted in temporary discomfort and incapacitation to some Filipino crew, the task force said.