The Philippines has accused China’s coast guard of colliding with a Filipino supply boat in the South China Sea.
The Filipino vessel was on its way to a Philippine outpost in the Second Thomas Shoal, on Sunday, where tensions have escalated in recent weeks.
Manila said Beijing’s “dangerous blocking manoeuvres” endangered the safety of the Filipino crew.
China however said the Philippines “deliberately stirred up trouble”.
Chinese and Philippine ships have routinely played cat-and-mouse around the shoal as a handful of Filipino troops on the outpost, a marooned and crumbling navy ship, require monthly rations.
Filipino authorities however said that China has grown more aggressive since Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr took office in June 2022 and sought closer military ties with Washington, Beijing’s chief rival for influence in the resource-rich and strategic sea.
In 2016, an international arbitration court at the Hague ruled that China’s vast sea claims had no basis, acting on a case brought forth by Manila. Beijing has refused to recognise it.