Philippines resupplies Spratlys shoal troops
Spread the love

In a statement, the Philippines’ National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea said two ships carrying supplies delivered fresh provisions to Second Thomas Shoal on 22 August.

West Philippine Sea refers to the portion of the South China Sea within Manila’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

According to the task force, supply missions will continue regularly to the shoal.

As a treaty ally of the Philippines, the US has expressed concern over Beijing’s “dangerous manoeuvres” in the South China Sea.

Besides water cannons, Chinese ships allegedly used “military grade lasers” to temporarily blind Philippine crews.

A 2014 case involving China’s repeated attempts to block supply missions to Second Thomas Shoal was won by the Philippines at the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

According to the tribunal, China’s claim based on ancient maps is unfounded. Nevertheless, Beijing has refused to recognize the ruling and instead built artificial islands on the disputed reefs.

Following the blockage of the supply mission in early August, China’s foreign ministry demanded the Philippines remove the ship from Second Thomas Shoal, claiming Manila had “repeatedly made clear promises” to tow it away. The promise was not identified.

In his six years as president, Rodrigo Duterte pivoted Manila’s alliances to China and Russia, straining ties with Washington, the nation’s long-time ally.

In early 2023, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. restored security ties with the US and provided American troops with wider access to Philippine bases.

It angered China as a larger US presence in the Philippines would provide the missing link to Washington’s alliance network in the region, which extends from South Korea and Japan to Australia.