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Amid heightened tension, Philippines summons China envoy over South sea standoff

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NEW DELHI: Phillippines has summoned Chinese envoy to protest against Beijing’s “aggressive actions” in the South China Sea, a move that might escalate the tension further amid a succession of flare-ups in the past year.
Manila’s action comes after the defence minister dared China to stake their sovereignty claims by taking it to international arbitration.
The foreign minister has accused Beijing’s coastguard of using a water cannon against a civilian boat supplying troops at the Second Thomas Shoal. Philipinnes has claimed that the action injured some crew.
The foreign ministry accused China’s coastguard of using water cannon against a civilian boat supplying troops on Saturday at the Second Thomas Shoal, which it said damaged the boat and injured some crew, in the latest in a succession of flare-ups in the past year.
“China’s continued interference with the Philippines’ routine and lawful activities in its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is unacceptable,” the Philippine foreign ministry said in a statement, which announced the charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy had summoned and a diplomatic protest lodged in Beijing.
“It infringes upon the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction,” it said, demanding Chinese vessels leave the area.
China’s coastguard said on Saturday it took necessary measures against Philippine vessels that were intruding in its waters.
China’s coastguard confirmed on Saturday that it had taken action against Philippine vessels trespassing in its waters, including the Second Thomas Shoal, situated within the Philippines’ 200-mile EEZ.
The Philippines intentionally grounded an old warship at the shoal in 1999 to strengthen its territorial claims, maintaining a small military presence there since. Despite a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration against China’s claim in the South China Sea, Beijing continues to assert its dominance, refusing to acknowledge the verdict.
In response to the recent incident, Philippine security officials held a high-level meeting on Monday to formulate recommendations for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on how to address the ongoing dispute.

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