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Philippine President Turns Down Proposal to Use Water Cannons Against Chinese Vessels

© Google EarthThe Philippine transport ship RMS Sierra Madre deliberately grounded on Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea
The Philippine transport ship RMS Sierra Madre deliberately grounded on Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.05.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday turned down a proposal to equip the country's coast guard vessels with water cannons as a means of defense against China's alleged persecutions in the South China Sea.
The idea was put forward by Philippine Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel last week, after a fresh incident of Beijing using water cannons against Philippine vessels, the Rappler news website reported.
"No ... we have no intention of attacking anyone with water cannons or any other such offensive," Marcos said, answering question about the proposal, according to the news website.
The president added that the Philippines "will not follow the Chinese coast guard and the Chinese vessels" in equipping its fleet with water cannons.
"It is not the mission of our navy, our coast guard to start or to increase the tensions. Their mission is precisely the opposite, is to lower tensions," Marcos added.
On Tuesday, two Philippine vessels entered the waters of Scarborough Shoal, an atoll claimed both by the Philippines and China. Philippine authorities said that China’s coast guard harassed the vessels and damaged them by firing water cannons. The China Coast Guard said that the vessels had ignored repeated warnings from the Chinese side.
FILE - This July 20, 2011, file photo shows an aerial view of Pag-asa Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2024
Philippines Plans South China Sea Escalation With US Support
China has been engaged in decades-long disputes with several Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, over the territorial affiliation of a number of islands and reefs in the South China Sea. In July 2016, following a lawsuit filed by the Philippines, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that China has no grounds for territorial claims in the South China Sea. The court ruled that the islands are not disputed territory and do not constitute an exclusive economic zone. Beijing did not recognize or accept the ruling.
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