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Ships from China and the Philippines collide in the South China Sea

In the South China Sea, a ship belonging to the Chinese security forces blocked the patrol of a ship belonging to the Philippines Coast Guard (FSG) as it was heading towards a disputed area, causing tensions between the two countries.

Photo: Unsplash

According to the statement made by the Philippine Coast Guard Command today (Friday), the security units of the two countries met near the "Second Thomas Shoal" area on April 21 and 23.

In the incident that took place on April 21, a ship affiliated with the Chinese Coast Guard Command did not allow the Philippines Coast Guard ship to enter the disputed area. The incident occurred near the Spratly Islands, which the Philippines occupied in the 1970s, causing conflict between the two countries.

According to the news in Al Jazeera, Chinese security units told the Philippines Coast Guard patrol to leave the region. The FSG unit responded by saying they "will not return and have the right to patrol that area".

After this incident, the patrol activities of both countries increased in the region. The second "confrontation" took place in the same region on April 23. Explaining that Chinese ships approached within 50 meters of the Philippine security units, FSG officials reported that their ships were stopped by two Chinese ships that were "behaving aggressively".

"This close range poses a threat to the safety of our ships and crews," the statement said. Using his words, the Philippines side said that another Chinese ship was watching the event from a distance of 700 meters.

Making a statement about the incident, Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesman Mao Ning said in a statement that the "Philippine side entered Chinese territorial waters and deliberately provoked" and called for "respect for China's sovereign rights".

South China Sea dispute

Disputes arose on their maritime borders after the island countries in the South China Sea gained their independence after the Second World War.

China claims about 80 percent of the south China Sea on a map it produced in 1947. This claim causes disputes between China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

In recent years, the Chinese side's construction of bases in the disputed region draws the reaction of the USA in addition to the countries in the region.

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