Chinese Coast Guard Uses Water Cannons Against Philippine Vessels for Second Day

December 11, 2023 | by b1og.net


In the latest escalation of tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, the Chinese coast guard has once again used water cannons against Philippine vessels, causing damage and endangering Filipino crew members. This incident occurred just a day after similar hostilities took place at another disputed shoal. The Philippines and the United States have strongly condemned China’s actions, calling them unprovoked acts of coercion. These confrontations raise concerns about China’s sincerity in promoting peaceful dialogue and its commitment to being a responsible member of the international community. Despite international condemnation and legal intervention, China continues to assert its claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea.

Chinese Coast Guard Uses Water Cannons Against Philippine Vessels for Second Day

The recent escalation of tensions in the South China Sea has caught the attention of the international community once again. The Chinese coast guard has been involved in a confrontation with Philippine vessels for the second consecutive day, using water cannons and even ramming one of the boats. These provocative actions have caused damage to the Philippine vessels and put the lives of Filipino crew members at risk. Let’s take a closer look at the background, incidents, reactions, and implications of these confrontations.

Chinese Coast Guard Uses Water Cannons Against Philippine Vessels for Second Day

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The territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve multiple countries, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan. The conflict revolves around conflicting claims to various islands, reefs, and shoals in the region. One particular area of contention is the Second Thomas Shoal, also known as Ayungin Shoal, which holds significant strategic importance.

The Second Thomas Shoal sits within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is located approximately 105 nautical miles from the mainland. It is home to a stranded Philippine navy ship, which serves as a territorial outpost and houses Filipino forces. The shoal is vital for maintaining a Philippine presence in the area and securing the country’s territorial claims.

Historically, tensions between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea have been escalating. The Philippines has accused China of unlawfully asserting control over the disputed territories. In recent years, both countries have engaged in confrontations, and the Second Thomas Shoal has been a focal point of these tensions.

Previous incidents at the Second Thomas Shoal have further strained relations between China and the Philippines. Chinese coast guard ships have consistently surrounded the area, blocking Filipino vessels and interfering with their operations. These aggressive actions have been an ongoing challenge for Philippine authorities and have heightened concerns about China’s intentions in the region.

First Day of Confrontation

On the first day of the recent confrontation, the Chinese coast guard targeted Philippine vessels with water cannon blasts. The M/L Kalayaan, a Philippine supply boat, suffered severe damage to its engines and had to be towed back to Palawan. The BRP Cabra, one of the Philippine coast guard’s escort ships, also sustained damage due to the water cannon blast.

The Philippine government immediately condemned China’s actions, emphasizing that the confrontation was unprovoked and put the lives of Filipino crew members at risk. Statements from other countries, including the United States, also expressed concerns about China’s behavior and supported the Philippines’ condemnation.


Second Day of Confrontation

The second day of the confrontation saw further aggression from the Chinese coast guard. Another Philippine supply boat was targeted and rammed by a Chinese coast guard ship. Despite the damage, the supply boat managed to maneuver away and successfully deliver supplies to Filipino marines stationed at Second Thomas Shoal.

These repeated confrontations have not only caused damage to Philippine vessels but have also endangered the lives of Filipino crew members. The Philippine government task force responsible for dealing with territorial disputes has raised concerns over the safety of its personnel and demanded that China be held accountable for its actions.

Philippine Reaction

The Philippine government has strongly condemned China’s actions and expressed its concerns for the safety of Filipino crew members. The country demands that China act responsibly and show itself as a trustworthy member of the international community. It also maintains its commitment to exercise its legal rights over its maritime zones.

Chinese Response

China has responded to the accusations by claiming that it implemented controls in accordance with laws and regulations. The Chinese coast guard accuses the Philippine vessel of violating international navigation regulations and intentionally colliding with a Chinese ship. China places the responsibility for the confrontation entirely on the Philippine side and asserts its sovereignty rights in the region.

International Condemnation

The international community has swiftly condemned China’s actions in the South China Sea. Foreign diplomats, including the ambassadors from the United States, the European Union, and Japan, have voiced their support for the Philippines and strongly criticized China’s repeated illegal and dangerous behavior.

China’s Claims and Rejections

China has consistently rejected international condemnation and legal intervention regarding the South China Sea disputes. It asserts its claims based on historical documents and geographical factors, which it believes give it sovereignty over the region. China considers defending its sovereignty within the South China Sea necessary and refuses to acknowledge the 2016 ruling by a U.N.-backed arbitration tribunal that invalidated its claims.

The South China Sea holds immense importance for China due to its strategic location and abundant natural resources. The region is a vital waterway for shipping and other maritime activities, and China seeks to exert control over it to protect its economic and security interests.

Previous Incidents and Tensions

The recent confrontations are not isolated events but part of a series of clashes that have occurred in the South China Sea. In 2023 alone, there have been other incidents involving Chinese coast guard ships using military-grade lasers, blocking and shadowing maneuvers, and engaging in collisions with Philippine vessels. These actions have caused tensions to escalate between the two countries.

Despite these encounters, the Philippine government remains determined to exercise its legal rights over its maritime zones. The coast guard continues to provide escort to civilian fishing boats and has even organized a Christmas food pack delivery mission to strengthen its presence in the disputed areas.

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Future Implications

The ongoing confrontations in the South China Sea have significant implications for the region and beyond. The escalation of tensions raises concerns about the potential for further clashes and the risk of military escalation. The Philippines, backed by its treaty ally, the United States, and other countries, has emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution and adherence to international law in resolving the disputes.


The recent incidents involving the Chinese coast guard’s use of water cannons against Philippine vessels have highlighted the continuing tensions in the South China Sea. These confrontations pose risks to the safety of Filipino crew members and have repercussions for the region’s stability. The international community has condemned China’s actions and called for peaceful dialogue and adherence to international law to resolve the disputes. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop and whether diplomatic efforts will lead to a peaceful resolution.

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