Asia PacificSea

Philippine Ship, Chinese Vessel Collide in South China Sea: Beijing

A Philippine ship and a Chinese vessel collided near the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea on Monday, Beijing’s Coast Guard said.

“The Philippine replenishment ship ignored many solemn warnings from the Chinese side,” Beijing’s coast guard said in a statement.

It “approached the… Chinese vessel in an unprofessional way, resulting in a collision,” the statement said.

Beijing accused the ship of having “illegally broken into the sea near Ren’ai Reef in China’s Nansha Islands,” using the Chinese name for the Spratly Islands.

“The Chinese Coast Guard took control measures against the Philippine ship in accordance with the law,” it added.

Beijing claims almost the entirety of the South China Sea, brushing aside competing claims from several Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines and an international ruling that its stance has no legal basis.

China deploys coast guard and other boats to patrol the waters and has turned several reefs into militarized artificial islands. Chinese and Philippine vessels have had a series of confrontations in disputed areas.

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