China should restrain its forces to prevent them committing any “provocative act,” the Philippine military said Monday, after Manila accused China’s coast guard of using a laser to try to disrupt a resupply mission to troops in the South China Sea, reports the Straits Times.
China temporarily blinds coast guard ship crew
The Philippine coast guard (PCG) said its vessel was assisting a navy mission to deliver food and supplies to troops on an atoll in the disputed waterway on Feb. 6 when a Chinese coast guard ship directed a “military-grade laser” at the ship, temporarily blinding its crew on the bridge.
“I think it’s time for the Chinese government to restrain its forces so that it does not commit any provocative act that will endanger the lives of people,” military spokesperson Medel Aguilar told reporters. Aguilar quoted the Philippine defense chief as saying the Chinese action was “offensive” and unsafe.
The incident took place at the Second Thomas Shoal, 105 nautical miles (195 kilometers) off the Philippine province of Palawan. The shoal is home to a small Philippine military contingent on board a rusty ship.
The 100-metre-long World War II ship was intentionally grounded on the shoal, known in the Philippines as Ayungin, in 1999 to reinforce Manila’s sovereignty claims in the Spratly archipelago.
“The deliberate blocking of the Philippine government ships to deliver food and supplies to our military personnel … is a blatant disregard for, and a clear violation of, Philippine sovereign rights,” the PCG said in a statement.
China’s foreign ministry said in response that its coast guard conducted actions according to the law.
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Source: The Straits Times