Home Asean News China Clash, Deliberate Collision: Philippines Says Beijing’s Coastguard “Acting Like Pirates”

China Clash, Deliberate Collision: Philippines Says Beijing’s Coastguard “Acting Like Pirates”

Philippines Armed Forces release footage of latest clash: China "acting like pirates."

China Philippines Confrontation

China Coast Guard personnel on rubber boats surrounding Philippine Navy personnel. At first, pointing pickaxes and weapons. Then puncturing holes in a Philippine inflatable boat. And also, pointing strobe lights. The Philippines Armed Forces have released videos of the latest confrontation with China in the West Philippines Sea. A Philippine navy sailor suffered a “serious injury”. The military called it “intentional-high speed ramming” by the Chinese coast guard during a resupply mission on the 17th of June. In fact, a Philippine military spokesperson said the sailor, who received a medal for wounded personnel from the military chief, lost a finger and was recovering in hospital.

“They Acted Like Pirates”

In what would be familiar to Indians from the Galwan and other clashes, the Chinese, Philippine officials said were carrying knives and spears. They looted firearms and “deliberately punctured” Philippine boats. “The Chinese have no right or legal authority to hijack our operations and destroy Philippine vessels,” military chief Romeo Brawner said in a briefing. “They boarded our boats illegally. Then got our equipment. They acted like pirates.”

China’s Claims

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

Basically, China claims almost the entire South China Sea, which includes the Second Thomas Shoal. So, that’s where the Philippines maintains a rusting warship, BRP Sierra Madre. In fact, it beached the ship in 1999 to reinforce its sovereignty claims. And stations a small crew of marines on it.

U.S.’ “Ironclad” Mutual Defence Treaty

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo to discuss China’s actions in the South China Sea. Both Manila and Washington have called the latest clashes escalatory. Blinken emphasised China’s actions “undermine regional peace and stability and underscored the United States’ ironclad commitments to the Philippines under the Mutual Defence Treaty,” the State Department said.

Philippines’ Pivot Away From China

Relations between Manila and Beijing have soured under Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Manila who has pivoted back to the U.S. In February 2023, Bong Bong Marcos, as he’s known, made the policy shift. That was days after he granted the U.S. access to four more military bases in the Philippines, rekindling defence ties that had suffered under his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

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The 'Eye' of the story not the 'I' of the story. That's Amitabh Pashupati Revi's credo from the beginning of his professional journey in 1995. From conflicts in the war zones of Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq to nuances of international politics in the Maldives,Thailand, and South Sudan, Amitabh has reported from all the world's continents, except for Antarctica(so far). Though, he has documented the world's third pole, the Siachen Glacier!
Amitabh reports and produces documentaries on the two-front China-Pakistan threat to India. His ground reports from Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh have received viewership in the hundreds of thousands. Amitabh has interviewed world leaders, top global analysts, and experts in India, Russia, the United States, and Australia as well. Along the way, he’s picked up the Russian language, the Ramnath Goenka Award for his reporting on the 'Islamic State' terrorist group in Iraq, the Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria, and the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship. Last but not least, as a founder member of StratNews Global, Amitabh helps lead the reporting, editorial, production, and administration teams at StratNews Global, BharatShakti, and InterStellar on their journey ahead.