During maritime exercises in the South China Sea (SCS), the Chinese Coast Guard vessel employed water cannons near Philippine Coast Guard ships near Ayungin Shoal. The Philippine Coast Guard officially reported the incident in question through the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Philippine Coast Guard expresses grave disapproval of the recent occurrence involving hazardous manoeuvres and unauthorised deployment of water cannons by the Chinese Coast Guard towards Coast Guard vessels near Ayungin Shoal on August 5th, as stated in the official statement.
As per the Philippine Coast Guard, the incident above transpired during the escort of vessels transporting provisions for Philippine military forces deployed near Ayungin Shoal. In 1999, Philippine officials deliberately beached the American landing ship “Sierra Madre,” a historical World War II artefact, on the shoal located within contested reefs in the South China Sea to observe China’s actions. The vessel consistently maintains a limited number of military personnel as part of its crew. China has consistently requested the vessel’s removal and issued threats to tow it away.
In an official statement, the United States has conveyed its endorsement of the Philippines.
In a statement published on Saturday, Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the Department of State, emphasised that the United States has reiterated its position regarding activating its obligations under the fourth article of the Mutual Defence Treaty of 1951 between the United States and the Philippines. This activation would occur in response to an armed attack on Philippine state vessels, aircraft, and armed forces, including their coast guard, in the South China Sea.