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MANILA, Philippines – The United States on Sunday, December 10, expressed its support to the Philippines, its oldest ally in Asia, as the country faced yet another incident of intimidation from Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea.
“The United States stands with the Philippines and partners in vehemently condemning the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) repeated illegal and dangerous actions against vessels, including disrupting the resupply mission to the Sierra Madre today,” said US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson on X, formerly Twitter.
Carlson said that latest intimidation by China “undermines regional stability in defiance of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Meanwhile, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron said that Chinese ships using “water cannons and dangerous sea maneuvers aren’t a legitimate alternative” in maintaining peace.
“Another deeply troubling incident today, water cannons used again. UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms maintain the rule of law. The 2016 UNCLOS Tribunal Award is a valuable framework for peaceful resolution,” he said.
Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko also expresses grave concern over the “repeated actions” by the CGC, adding that Japan stands with the Philippines “in support of a free and open” Indo-Pacific.
“Japan opposes actions that undermine the peace and stability in [the South China Sea],” he added.
On Sunday morning, Philippine coastguard spokesperson Jay Tarriela accused China of firing a water cannon and ramming its resupply vessels in the South China Sea, with one of the ships suffering “serious engine damage” during a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal off Palawan.
This was the latest incident of intimidation by Chinese forces against Filipino vessels in the West Philippine Sea. This latest incident also comes at a time when the Atin Ito coalition launched a maritime mission to honor the Filipinos who bear the brunt of China’s intimidation in the West Philippine Sea and made a statement that ordinary Filipinos should be able to sail freely in their own waters. – Rappler.com