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Philippine chief warns of countermeasures in response to Chinese aggression at sea

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A file picture of Phillippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr
| Photo Credit: Reuters

The Philippine President mentioned on March 28 that his authorities would take motion towards what he known as harmful assaults by the Chinese Coast Guard and suspected militia ships within the disputed South China Sea, saying “Filipinos do not yield.”

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. didn’t present particulars of the actions his authorities would take within the succeeding weeks however mentioned these can be “proportionate, deliberate and cheap within the face of the open, unabating, and unlawful, coercive, aggressive and harmful assaults by brokers of the China coast guard and Chinese maritime militia.”

“We seek no conflict with any nation,” Mr. Marcos wrote on X, formerly Twitter, but said the Philippines would not be “cowed into silence.”

Mr. Marcos’s warning is the latest sign of the escalating disputes between China and the Philippines in the contested waters that have caused minor collisions between the coast guard and other vessels of the rival claimant nations, sparked a war of words and strained relations.

China and the Philippines, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei, have overlapping claims in the resource-rich and busy waterway, where a bulk of the world’s commerce and oil transits.

Chinese officials in Manila or Beijing did not immediately respond to Mr. Marcos’s public warning, which he issued during Holy Week — one of the most sacred religious periods in the largely Roman Catholic nation.

Mr. Marcos said he issued the statement after meeting top Philippine defence and national security officials, who submitted their recommendations. He added without elaborating that he has also been in constant talks with “allies, partners and friends in the international community,” who he mentioned had supplied to assist the Philippines defend its sovereignty.

In the most recent hostilities on Saturday, the Chinese coast guard used water cannons that injured a number of Philippine navy crewmen and closely broken their wood provide boat close to the disputed Second Thomas Shoal. The cannon blast was so sturdy it threw a crewman off the ground however he hit a wall as an alternative of plunging into the ocean, Philippine navy officers mentioned.

The Philippine authorities summoned a Chinese embassy diplomat in Manila to convey its “strongest protest” towards China. Beijing accused the Philippine vessels of intruding into Chinese territorial waters, warning Manila to not “play with fire” and saying China would proceed to take actions to defend its sovereignty.

The United States condemned the actions by the Chinese coast guard and renewed a warning that it’s obligated to return to assistance from the Philippines beneath a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty if Philippine forces, plane and ships come beneath an armed assault, together with anyplace within the South China Sea.

Beijing has warned Washington to avoid what it says is a purely Asian dispute.

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