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New Delhi
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Statement condemning PRC’s belligerent Maritime actions against the Philippines

Red Lantern Analytica condemns vehemently the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) recent belligerent actions in the South China Sea (SCS) against the Philippines. On 30th April 2024, risky manoeuvres and obstructions by the four Chinese Coast Guard vessels and six Chinese Maritime Militia vessels were confronted by Philippine vessels. These actions by the PRC endangered the safety of Philippine personnel and vessels and also violated international standards and laws regulating maritime conduct.

The Philippine Coast Guard vessels were damaged when the PLA-N Chinese Coast Guard deployed jet stream water weaponry from both sides. The flagrant transgression of international law and infringement upon Philippine sovereignty occurred at the Scarborough Shoal by the Chinese. This overt manifestation of hostility is deemed abhorrent and detrimental to endeavours aimed at preserving tranquillity and steadiness in the area.

Moreover, this incident is merely one of numerous occurrences in which the PRC has infringed upon Philippine sovereignty in the South China Sea. A water canon was also recently (March 2024) employed by the PRC against a Philippine vessel engaged in a resupply mission to its troops. All these different forms of attacks by the PRC blatantly demonstrates its intent to intimidate the Philippines. This  unjustified aggression clearly contravenes the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the arbitral tribunal’s decision dated July 12, 2016.

It is crucial to underscore for the PRC that the Arbitral Tribunal rendered a resounding decision in favour of the Philippines in the dispute between the two countries over the South China Sea. Significant components of the PRC’s claim, such as its so called ‘nine-dash line,’ land reclamation operations, and other activities in Philippine waters were deemed illicit by the tribunal.

It is extremely concerning that the PRC continues to militarise the South China Sea and employ aggressive tactics against its neighbours. These behaviours exacerbate regional tensions and impede endeavours to amicably address maritime conflicts.

Repeated provocations by the CCP-led PRC in SCS demonstrates its revisionist goals and desire for other countries to acquiesce its existence. The PRC seeks to establish a ‘Sinocentric World Order’ by assuming and establishing illiberal norms which threaten regional stability and defy the rules-based order. This is absolutely unacceptable and erogenous actions by the PRC in non-adherence to the norms. Thus, the PRC should refrain from unilaterally inflaming tensions in the SCS and uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations involved.

India reaffirms its solidarity with the Philippines and other countries who  strive to safeguard their territorial integrity and sovereignty from the PRC in the SCS. India also urges the PRC to adhere to the principles of freedom of navigation, respect international law, and abstain from any additional unilateral, provocative and aggressive behaviours in the SCS.

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