Philippines Summons China Envoy After Water Cannon Incident

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines summoned China’s envoy in Manila on Thursday to protest China’s use of water cannons against its ships in the disputed South China Sea, prompting Beijing to accuse Manila of infringing on its territory.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The Southeast Asian nation slammed the “harassment, ramming, swarming, shadowing and blocking, dangerous maneuvers, use of water cannons, and other aggressive actions” of China’s coast guard and maritime militia vessels against the Philippine vessels, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The nation “demanded that Chinese vessels leave Bajo de Masinloc and its vicinity immediately,” the agency said, after summoning Chinese Embassy of Manila Deputy Chief of Mission Zhou Zhiyong. Bajo de Masinloc is Manila’s term for Scarborough Shoal.

Read More: Why China, Philippines Keep Clashing at Sea and What Comes Next

The Philippines said three Chinese coast guard ships fired water cannons at two Philippine vessels near Scarborough Shoal on Tuesday, in the latest flare-up of tensions between the two countries in the contested waters. The Philippine coast guard said China’s actions damaged its boat which accompanied a government fisheries vessel on its way to provide assistance to Filipino fisherfolk in the area.

In response, China, which claims nearly the entire South China Sea, said it has “indisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Dao and its adjacent waters,” using its name for Scarborough Shoal.

“The operations on the ground were professional, rational, reasonable and legitimate. The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations both in Beijing and in Manila to the Philippine side demanding the Philippines to stop its provocation and infringement immediately,” a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Manila said in a statement.

The latest encounter between Manila and Beijing comes as the Philippines and its longtime ally the US are holding their annual military drills that included maritime exercises near the South China Sea.

(Updates with comments from Chinese embassy in Manila.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.