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Dangerous? China says its ships’ maneuvers were “professional and restrained”


TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. A Chinese Coast Guard ship gets “dangerously close,” as the Philippine Coast Guard puts it, to a much smaller PCG ship in the waters near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, in this photo Taken June 30. courtesy of PCG

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — China on Thursday denied allegations that its coast guard ships maneuvered dangerously close to Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ships in the West Philippine Sea last week, saying the actions they were “professional and measured”.

The PCG earlier sounded the alarm about “dangerous maneuvers” by Chinese Coast Guard vessels on two PCG ships supporting a Philippine Navy resupply mission at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on June 30.

READ: Chinese vessels again accused of ‘dangerous manoeuvres’

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin refuted this, saying that Ayungin Shoal, which he referred to as Ren’ai Reef, is “part of China’s Nansha Islands.”

He claimed that the PCG ships had “entered the waters of the Ren’ai Reef without Chinese permission.”

“In accordance with the law, the China Coast Guard vessel carried out law enforcement activities to uphold China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime order. The Chinese side’s maneuvers were professional and restrained,” Wang told a press conference.

Ayungin Shoal, a reef about 194 kilometers from Palawan province, lies within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

China has extensive claims in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

In 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated Beijing’s fictitious claims within the so-called nine-dash line, but the Asian giant has stubbornly refused to recognize the landmark ruling.


Eyewitness in Ayungin: Chinese force, PH arena

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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