The US condemns China’s ‘Aggressive’ Actions in the SCS

Home World The US condemns China’s ‘Aggressive’ Actions in the SCS
The US condemns China's 'Aggressive' Actions

The US condemns China’s ‘aggressive’ actions in the South China Sea as Chinese coast guards fire water cannons at Filipino vessels.

The incident, which has been called the worst and most violent of the year, took place when the Philippine warships were traveling to the Scarborough (Bajo de Masinloc, Panatag) Shoal off the coast of Zambales to provide supplies to Filipino fishermen.

Later, a video of the attack was also made public.

Philippine officials claim that ships from the Philippine Fisheries Bureau visited the wealthy but isolated Scarborough Shoal to provide free Christmas grocery packs and gasoline to underprivileged Filipino fishermen who operated about thirty boats.

About 1.6 to 2 miles (2.6 to 3.5 kilometers) away, the Philippine government ships were said to be approaching when the Chinese coast guard and its supporting ships exhibited extremely hostile behavior, including discharging water cannons at least eight times.


Additionally, they said that the Chinese Coast Guard had set up a floating barrier at the entrance to the massive fishing lagoon of Scarborough Shoal and had sent out workers in small motorboats to drive away Filipino fishermen who were waiting for the supply of food and gasoline.

According to Filipino officials, the attack “significantly damaged” one of the three Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic (BFA) Resources ships’ navigation and communication equipment.

They claimed, without giving any specifics, that the Chinese Coast Guard ships were escorted by suspected militia ships that were equipped with long-range sonic technology that could impair hearing and render certain Filipino crew members temporarily incapacitated.

One of Asia’s most contentious marine features, Scarborough Shoal, is named for a British ship that went aground on the atoll some 300 years ago. It is also a focal point for diplomatic disputes over fishing rights and sovereignty. Beijing and Manila continue to contest this shoal since China claims practically the whole South China Sea.

The shoal is strategically important to Beijing because it is situated in the middle of the South China Sea, near maritime lanes that carry an estimated $3.4 trillion in annual commerce. Indeed, there are concerns that China might someday build an artificial island there.

The US condemns China's 'Aggressive' Actions in the SCS
China has attacked Philippine-owned vessels with water cannons before, as evidenced by the most recent incident

In reality, close to the disputed shoal, which China practically controls, the Philippines found a 300-meter-long ball-buoy barrier under the supervision of China’s coast guard. To dismantle the barrier, the Philippine Coast Guard launched a special operation.

That being said, the United States, a treaty ally of the Philippines, and the country itself denounced the high-seas attack separately. According to the Philippine government task group, it is not only illegal but also cruel to avoid the shipment of humanitarian support.

China’s Activities Break International Law

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Mary Kay Carlson said that China’s activities “break international law and threaten lives and livelihoods” in a post on the social networking site X. She said that by supporting the Philippines, the US supported an open and free Indo-Pacific region.

The South China Sea territorial disputes have been going on for a while, and this is the most recent flare-up that has put China and the US on a collision course.

China and the Philippines have been engaged in a particularly fierce territorial dispute this year over a number of disputed offshore areas, including Second Thomas Shoals and Scarborough.


China has attacked Philippine-owned vessels with water cannons before, as evidenced by the most recent incident. Manila accused Chinese ships in November of firing water cannons and performing “dangerous maneuvers” close to Philippine warships that were receiving supplies on the Second Thomas Shoal, another contested territory. 

The Philippines further claimed at the time that two Philippine boats were being harassed by Chinese Coast Guard inflatable boats in a “reckless” and “dangerous” manner.

Later on in the same month, two fighter jets from the People’s Liberation Army-Air Force (PLA-AF) of China were seen flying in close formation behind an aircraft from the Philippines that was being used in the West Philippine Sea as part of a joint bilateral maritime patrol with Australia.

While on a resupply mission at the Second Thomas Shoal in October, the Philippines accused Chinese Coast Guard warships of “intentionally” colliding with their ships. 

The Philippine warships “bumped dangerously” with the coast guard and “Chinese fishing vessels” that were fishing nearby, according to China, which denied the charge. Numerous accounts of incidents resembling it have surfaced since then.

Additionally, it is believed that the Chinese Coast Guard has used military-grade lasers in high-seas confrontations off disputed shoals, briefly blinding crew members from the Philippines in the process. They have also used dangerous shadowing and blocking tactics, one of which led to a minor crash.

The Philippines is intensifying its attempts to counter what it perceives to be China’s “aggressive activities” in the South China Sea in the interim. Regarding naval operations, the area has grown to be a flashpoint for tensions between China and the US.

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