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    “Philippine Military Reports Chinese Coast Guard Boarding, Seizing Guns from Filipino Navy in South China Sea”


    Chinese Coast Guard Seizes Guns from Filipino Navy Vessels in South China Sea Confrontation

    A tense confrontation in the South China Sea has escalated as the Philippine military accuses the Chinese coast guard of ramming and boarding Filipino navy boats, seizing their guns in the process. The incident, which occurred near Second Thomas Shoal, has raised concerns about escalating tensions in the disputed region.

    According to Rear Admiral Alfonso Torres, Chinese coast guard personnel illegally boarded Filipino rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBS) and seized firearms stored on board. The Filipino sailors, under orders not to display their weapons, were outnumbered by the armed Chinese boarders armed with swords, spears, and knives.

    General Romeo Brawner of the Philippine military condemned the Chinese actions, highlighting that it was the first time they had observed Chinese coast guard personnel carrying such weapons. The seized guns were intended for Filipino troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre warship on the shoal.

    The confrontation turned physical when the Chinese coast guard deliberately punctured the Filipino boats, resulting in a Filipino sailor losing a thumb. The incident underscores the risks faced by naval personnel in the region, where competing territorial claims have led to increased maritime tensions.

    Second Thomas Shoal, located about 200 kilometers from Palawan, Philippines, has been a focal point of territorial disputes. Beijing’s expansive claims in the South China Sea conflict with those of several Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines, despite an international ruling against China’s claims.

    The latest confrontation is part of a pattern of increased Chinese assertiveness in the region, where Beijing has deployed coast guard and other vessels to patrol disputed waters and has militarized artificial islands on reefs.

    The Philippine military’s account of the incident highlights the challenges faced by smaller nations in asserting their maritime rights against a more powerful and assertive neighbor. The incident is likely to further strain relations between China and the Philippines, adding to the complex dynamics of the South China Sea dispute.

    Sources By Agencies

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