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Philippines Vows to Stay on Disputed Reef After Clashes – ST

Chinese vessels fired water cannons at Filipino ships resupplying a vessel moored on a disputed Spratlys reef, spurring anger in Manila and condemnation from the US, EU and other allies

The Philippines has vow to stay on a disputed Spratly Islands reef despite further clashes with Chinese vessels on Saturday.
A file photo of the BRP Sierra Madre, a marooned transport ship which Philippine Marines live on as a military outpost, is seen in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, from March 2014 (Reuters).


The Philippines said it will never abandon its military outpost on the Ayungin Shoal, a disputed reef in the Spratly Island chain in the eastern part of the South China Sea within Manila’s exclusive economic zone, after eight Chinese ships fired water cannons for an hour at four smaller Philippine boats on a resupply mission over the weekend, according to a report by the Strait Times, which said Manila had filed another diplomatic complaint with the Chinese ambassador over the incident.

Chinese officials, who have rejected an international ruling against the country’s controversial ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ claim, told the Philippines on Monday to remove the grounded BRP Sierra Madre vessel from the reef, which is also known as the Second Thomas Shoal, adding that it had earlier told Manila not to send “construction materials used for large-scale repair and reinforcement” to the warship after it learned of this recent supply plan.

However, this was met with a flat rejection by Manila, while China’s tactics spurred an international backlash with allies such as the United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, Canada and the European Union condemning its actions, the Times said.

Read the full report (with videos): Straits Times.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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