Philippines set to renew resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal in South China Sea

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Protection Secretary Delfin Lorenzana mentioned he had instructed the army to ship its resupply vessels again to the Philippines-occupied Second Thomas Shoal, and that China “is not going to intervene” this time.

On Thursday, the Philippines condemned “in strongest phrases actions of three Chinese language coast guard vessels that it mentioned blocked and used water cannon on resupply boats headed towards Second Thomas Shoal, which is domestically often known as Ayungin Shoal.

The US known as the Chinese language actions “harmful, provocative, and unjustified,” and warned that an armed assault on Philippine vessels would invoke US mutual protection commitments.

“The Chinese language is not going to intervene per my dialog with the Chinese language ambassador (Huang Xilian),” mentioned Lorenzana.

Lorenzana mentioned he and Huang had been speaking “for the reason that night of the 16th whereas the incident was occurring till yesterday, 20 November.”

The Chinese language Embassy in Manila didn’t instantly reply to Reuters’ request for remark.

There will probably be no navy or coast guard escorts for the Philippines’ resupply boats after they sail again to Second Thomas Shoal, Lorenzana mentioned.

“They (China) don’t have any proper to impede, forestall or harass our ships inside our EEZ (unique financial zone), whether or not we’re fishing or bringing provides to our detachment within the Sierra Madre (navy ship) in Ayungin Shoal,” he mentioned.

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The chief of the Philippine army’s Western Command, Vice Adm. Ramil Roberto Enriquez, in the meantime mentioned the variety of Chinese language coast guard vessels in Second Thomas Shoal had gone down to 2 as of Saturday evening from three on Tuesday.

He mentioned the Chinese language maritime militia vessels had additionally left the shoal. China has denied working a militia.

There have been 19 vessels close to Second Thomas Shoal not too long ago and 45 close to Thitu Island, one other Philippines-occupied space, in accordance with Nationwide Safety Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.