China’s Tensions With Top US Ally Skyrocket

A blockading force of Chinese coast guard and paramilitary ships prevented a government convoy carrying supplies and people to the Philippine marine outpost at the shoal. The ensuing stalemate resulted in unsafe moves and crashes.

Manila reports that a water cannon shot from the China Coast Guard injured a few members of the patrol boat’s crew.

That day, Vincent Trinidad, a spokesman for the Philippine Navy, warned that the situation was unprecedented, citing China’s growing influence in those waterways over the previous three decades.

Citing historical rights, China asserts the sovereignty of a sizable chunk of the South China Sea. The Second Thomas Shoal, situated in the Philippines’ internationally recognized exclusive economic zone, is one illustration. Beijing regards Manila’s deliberate grounding of a warship to bolster its claim at the disputed atoll as a breach of its sovereignty, and as such, Beijing keeps the installation there.

The announcement said the Philippines was moving forward with the supply mission without clarifying the earlier agreements it allegedly violated.

Beijing’s foreign delegation commended the Chinese Coast Guard for their professional, restrained, rational, and legal actions.

This episode revealed the unpredictability of flashpoints in the South China Sea and their capacity to spark a protracted war between strong powers. That day, the U.S. State Department reiterated that any attack on Philippine property or citizens would trigger the mutual defense agreements between the two nations.

Events such as the latest supply mission are not considered to be attacks.

At a Beijing press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning characterized the operation as lawful, reasonable, professional, and restrained.

Mao underlined China’s demand that the Philippine side refrain from provocations and maritime infractions and refrain from taking any steps that would worsen the maritime situation.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to preserving its maritime rights and sovereignty and highlighted its readiness to hold talks with China during a summit in Australia.