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Manila accuses Beijing of harassment

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Tensions over the resource-rich waters have spiked in the past week after Chinese coastguard ships fired water cannon at Philippine boats delivering supplies to marines at Second Thomas Shoal in the contested Spratly Islands.

The Defence Minister of the Philippines on Tuesday accused the Chinese coastguard of “intimidation and harassment” after Philippine Navy personnel were filmed and photographed unloading goods in the disputed South China Sea.

Tensions over the resource-rich waters have spiked in the past week after Chinese coastguard ships fired water cannon at Philippine boats delivering supplies to marines at Second Thomas Shoal in the contested Spratly Islands.

Manila expressed outrage over the attack which forced the Philippine boats to abort their mission. But Beijing said the vessels had entered its waters without permission.

China claims almost all of the waterway, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, with competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.



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