Philippine Coast Guard accuses China of dangerous maneuvers

Philippine Coast Guard accuses China of “dangerous” maneuvers

The Philippine Coast Guard on Sunday accused China of carrying out “dangerous” maneuvers during a nine-day patrol off the coast of the archipelago.

Chinese coast guard ships carried out “dangerous maneuvers and blockades four times” against a Philippine patrol boat, Manila denounces in a press release.

The patrol vessel BRP Teresa Magbanua was deployed in early February to “ensure the safety of Filipino fishermen” around Scarborough Reef in the South China Sea, about 350 kilometers west of Manila. This reef was taken over by Beijing from the Philippines in 2012.

According to the Philippines, the patrol boat was “pursued” by four Chinese coast guard vessels during the operation.

The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately comment.

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, including waters and islands near its neighbors' coasts, and has ignored a 2016 international court ruling rejecting that claim.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim several reefs and islands in this sea, some of which may contain rich oil deposits.

In December, a Philippine boat and a Chinese Coast Guard ship collided in the waters of the Spratly Islands, near the Second Thomas Atoll, where a Philippine garrison is stationed. Both countries blamed each other for the incident.