News Release

PH gets overwhelming support from different countries after China’s aggressive, dangerous actions in WPS

Multiple countries have issued statements of support to the Philippines as they condemned China’s aggressive and dangerous actions in the West Philippine Sea following a March 23 water cannon attack of a Philippine supply vessel en route to Ayungin Shoal causing “heavy damage” to the ship.

The China Coast Guard fired water cannon at a Philippine supply vessel en route to Ayungin Shoal for a rotation and resupply mission damaging the vessel, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported on Saturday.

“The European Union is deeply concerned by the incidents which occurred in the South China Sea on 23 March. The succession of repeated dangerous maneuvers, blocking and water-cannoning from Chinese Coast Guard vessel and Maritime Militia against Philippine vessel engaged in resupply missions constituted a dangerous provocation against the Philippines vessels,” the EU’s spokesperson said in a statement last Saturday.

“These acts put human lives at risk, undermine regional stability and international norms, and threaten security in the region and beyond. The EU calls for restraint and full respect of the relevant international rules, so as to ensure the peaceful resolution of differences and reduction of tensions in the region,” the statement added.

The UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Arbitration Award of 2016, as well as other relevant international rules and regulations relating to the safety of life at sea, should be respected at all times, the EU further said, noting this includes the prohibition of the use of force or coercion, and the freedom of navigation.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson also expressed her statement of support to the Philippines on recent China’s actions.

“The US stands with the Philippines against PRC’s repeated dangerous maneuvers and water cannons to disrupt Philippine Coast Guard lawful activities in the Philippine EEZ,” Carlson said in a social media posting.

“The PRC’s interference with the Philippine freedom of navigation violates international law and threatens a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she further stated.

United Kingdom’s Ambassador Laure Beaufils also condemned China’s harassment of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea, saying:, This endangered lives and resulted in significant damage to a civilian vessel.”

Ambassador Endo Kazuya of Japan said his country reiterates its grave concern on the repeated dangerous actions by CCG in SCS which resulted in Filipino injuries.

“Japan stands in solidarity with the Philippines as confirmed at the Japan, Philippines, US Vice Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in this week,” Endo said.

Germany also expressed statement of support to the Philippines. Ambassador Andreas Michael Pfaffernoschke said: “All parties must uphold international law and refrain from actions that could endanger peace and stability and put into question legitimate rights under UNCLOS. All disputes must be resolved on the basis of UNCLOS. Germany calls on all parties to respect the 2016 arbitrary award.”

French Ambassador Marie Fontanel, for her part, reiterated France’s concern following Saturday’s incident in the South China Sea which caused injuries to the members of the Philippines Coast Guard as well as damages to vessels.

“France renews its call for respect of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and freedom of navigation,” she said in a social media posting.

Canada and Australia also expressed their support to the Philippines as they call for parties to adhere to rules-based order and international law.

“Dangerous maneuvers and the repeated use of water cannons by Chinese vessels against Philippines vessels today endangered lives and pose a serious threat to regional peace and stability. We urge the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the international law,” said Ambassador Canadian Ambassador David Bruce Hartman.

Australia’s Ambassador Hae Kyong Yu, on the other hand, said her country shares “the Philippines’ serious concerns about dangerous conduct by China’s vessels adjacent to Second Thomas Shoal today.”

“This is part of a pattern of deeply concerning behaviour. UNCLOS is the basis for peace and stability in the South China Sea,” she stated.

Other countries that also showed strong backing to the Philippines include Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, South Korea, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Sweden. PND