The Philippines accuses China of carrying out dangerous maneuvers near Scarborough Shoal

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine Coast Guard on Sunday accused China of conducting “dangerous and disruptive” maneuvers while its ship patrolled near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea this month.

During a nine-day patrol near the shoal by its 97-meter (318-foot) BRP Teresa Magbanua, four Chinese Coast Guard vessels tracked the boat more than 40 times, the Manila Coast Guard said in a statement.

Four Chinese maritime militia ships were also located near the shoal, the PCG said.

The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the accusations. The embassy was closed on the weekend.

Located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, China also claims the Scarborough Shoal, making it one of Asia’s most contested maritime features and a flashpoint.

PCG said its ship was in the area to protect Filipino fishermen “from further harassment” in their traditional fishing grounds.

“CCG ships conducted dangerous and obstructive maneuvers at sea against BRP Teresa Magbanua four times, with CCG ships crossing the bow of a PCG ship twice,” she said, adding that the Chinese ships had “recklessly” ignored international rules on preventing collisions. At the sea.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a corridor for more than $3 trillion in annual ship trade. Its territorial claims overlap with the exclusive economic zones of the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s claims had no legal basis, a decision rejected by Beijing.

(Reporting by Michael Flores; Editing by Sonali Paul)

(Tags for translation)Scarborough Shoal

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