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Philippines alleges China is targeting fishing boats in South China Sea – Latest news on South China Sea

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The Philippine government has accused the Chinese coastguard of using water cannon to obstruct three Filipino vessels near the Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea. The incident took place in an area that both countries claim as their own, with Beijing seizing the shoal in 2012 after a standoff with Manila. The three Filipino boats were providing supplies to fishermen when they were targeted by the Chinese coastguard. The Philippines has condemned the use of water cannon, describing it as illegal and inhuman, and has called on China to stop its aggressive activities.

In addition to the use of water cannon, Chinese Maritime Militia vessels reportedly engaged in dangerous maneuvers and deployed a long-range acoustic device that caused discomfort and incapacitation to some of the Filipino crew. China claimed that it took control measures against the three vessels that it said intruded into the disputed waters near the shoal.

The South China Sea is a hotly contested area with several countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, all laying claim to parts of the sea. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, but the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in 2016 that China’s claims had no legal basis.

Tensions between the Philippines and China in the disputed South China Sea are ongoing, with a history of maritime incidents. The recent incident has led to renewed calls for China to respect international maritime law and stop its aggressive actions in the area. The South China Sea is a crucial trade route, with over $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passing through annually, making it an area of significant geopolitical importance.

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Photo credit www.aljazeera.com

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