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U.S. Condemns China Over South China Sea Collision with Philippines

U.S. Condemns China Over South China Sea Collision with Philippines
U.S. Condemns China Over South China Sea Collision with Philippines

The United States condemned China over a collision with the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea, which happened near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. Both nations blamed each other for the incident, underscoring the intense territorial disputes in the region. China asserts broad claims over the South China Sea, conflicting with the claims of several other nations, including the Philippines.

The U.S. criticized China for aggressive maneuvers that reportedly caused injury and damage to Philippine vessels, although both countries denied any injuries or significant damage.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has warned that any fatalities in such confrontations could be considered an act of war. The Philippines has been strengthening ties with the U.S., reinforcing their mutual defense commitments under a 1951 treaty.

U.S. Condemns China Over South China Sea Collision with Philippines

U.S. Condemns China Over South China Sea Collision with Philippines

This incident adds to a series of confrontations between the Philippines and China, raising concerns about potential escalation. The U.S. reiterated its support for the Philippines, condemning China’s actions as escalatory and irresponsible. High-level discussions between U.S. and Philippine officials emphasized China’s interference with Philippine maritime operations and navigation freedoms.

A recent Chinese law allows its coast guard to detain foreign vessels, which has contributed to increased tensions. China accused the Philippine ship of deliberately causing the collision, while the Philippines countered that Chinese ships performed dangerous maneuvers. The Philippine military criticized China’s presence in its exclusive economic zone as illegal and infringing on sovereignty.

Despite a 2016 ruling from an international tribunal invalidating China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, Beijing continues to enforce its claims, leading to frequent clashes. The Second Thomas Shoal, where the collision occurred, is a strategically significant and resource-rich area claimed by multiple nations. The Philippine ship was resupplying troops on a grounded vessel to reinforce its claims.

China maintained that it acted lawfully and professionally, warning the Philippines against provocations. In contrast, the Philippines made broad statements denouncing China’s actions, emphasizing their commitment to protecting their territorial integrity. Philippine Defense Minister Gilberto Teodoro Jr. condemned China’s behavior, calling it an obstacle to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

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