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Beijing, Manila trade barbs after collisions in South China Sea resupply run

A screenshot from a Philippine Coast Guard video showing a confrontation between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the South China Sea on 22 October. (Philippine Coast Guard )

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has accused Chinese government vessels of colliding into boats that were deployed by Manila for a resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal.

In the latest incidents – both of which took place on 22 October – a total of seven Chinese vessels were involved, Manila's National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) disclosed on the same day.

The first incident involved a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel with pennant number 5203. The vessel, which features a bow stem that has been strengthened with steel bracket presumably for ramming operations, collided into a civilian boat known as Unaiza May 2.

This collision took place at about 0604 h local time as Unaiza May 2 attempted to resupply BRP Sierra Madre, an ageing Philippine Navy landing ship that has been stranded on Second Thomas Shoal on purpose as part of Manila's attempt to claim sovereignty over the feature. Unaiza May 2 is an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-contracted boat.

The second incident took place at approximately 0814 h local time when the PCG's Parola-class patrol boat BRP Cabra collided with a Chinese Maritime Militia, the NTF-WPS said.

The PCG indicated in a statement released on the same day that all Philippine crew members involved in the incident are unharmed. In addition to this, Sierra Madre was successfully resuppplied by another contracted boat, Unaiza May 1, the NTF-WPS further disclosed.

In its own statement, the AFP reiterated the country's resolve to continue the resupply missions to BRP Sierra Madre

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