The Philippines condemned China’s “illegal and aggressive actions” in the South China Sea on Saturday, saying its coast guard had fired water cannon at a Philippine fisheries bureau vessel conducting a regular resupply mission.
The Philippine task force for the South China Sea, an inter-agency government body, called for China to stop its “aggressive activities” in the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by both countries.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said in a post on social media platform X that China’s behavior “violates international law and endangers lives and livelihoods.”
She said the U.S. stood by the Philippines in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
China said earlier that it took “control measures” against three Philippine fishing vessels that had intruded into waters near Scarborough Shoal, state media reported.
The incident comes ahead of Dec. 10, when the Philippines plans to deploy a Christmas convoy of around 40 Philippine vessels to distribute gifts and other provisions to residents in Thitu island, the Philippines’ largest occupied island in the South China Sea, and to troops garrisoned on an aging warship in the Second Thomas shoal.
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