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Tags: china | sea | Philippines | taiwan | freedom of navigation | navy | ships

US Hits China for Aggression in South China Sea

By    |   Tuesday, 18 June 2024 02:04 PM EDT

The U.S. called out China's "aggressive, dangerous maneuvers" in the South China Sea after a Chinese ship and a Philippine supply vessel collided, in the most recent instance of heightened regional tensions.

The collision took place Monday near the Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed Spratly Islands, with China and the Philippines blaming each other for the incident.

Backed by the U.S., the Philippines claims the area as part of its exclusive economic zone; the People's Republic of China says it is part of its territory, however.

"The [U.S.] condemns the PRC's aggressive, dangerous maneuvers near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, which caused bodily injury, damaged Philippine vessels, and hindered lawful maritime operations to supply food, water, and essential supplies to personnel within the [Philippine] exclusive economic zone," Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said early Monday in a statement posted to social media platform X.

"We stand by our allies in support of a #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific," Carlson added.

The State Department expressed support for the Philippines and reiterated its commitment to the 1951 United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty that "extends to armed attacks" on the island nation "anywhere in the South China Sea."

"The United States stands with its ally the Philippines and condemns the escalatory and irresponsible actions by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to deny the Philippines from lawfully delivering humanitarian supplies to service members stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre on June 17," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement Monday.

Miller denounced the Chinese vessels' "dangerous and deliberate use of water cannons, ramming, blocking maneuvers, and towing" which he said "damaged Philippine vessels, endangered the lives of Philippine service members, is reckless, and threatens regional peace and stability."

On a call with Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Maria Theresa Lazaro, Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the 1951 treaty, according to Miller.

Campbell and Lazaro "discussed shared concerns over the People's Republic of China's escalatory and irresponsible actions on June 17, which obstructed the Philippines from executing a lawful maritime operation in the South China Sea, interfering with the Philippines' freedom of navigation. The Deputy Secretary and Undersecretary agreed that the PRC's dangerous actions threatened regional peace and stability."

The PRC's actions "further reiterated the critical importance of the United States-Philippines alliance to maintaining our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region," Miller added.

As the relationship between Washington and Beijing becomes increasingly frayed, the latest escalatory confrontation stokes fears about the potential for a broader conflict in the region.

The Associated Press reported the Chinese coast guard said the Philippines is "entirely responsible for this." The supply ship "ignored China's repeated solemn warnings … and dangerously approached a Chinese vessel in normal navigation in an unprofessional manner," the Chinese coast guard said, "resulting in a collision."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
The U.S. called out China's "aggressive, dangerous maneuvers" in the South China Sea after a Chinese ship and a Philippine supply vessel collided, in the most recent instance of heightened regional tensions.
china, sea, Philippines, taiwan, freedom of navigation, navy, ships, vessels
469
2024-04-18
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 02:04 PM
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