Philippines Challenges Chinese Warship in South China Sea

The Philippines Coast Guard said it drove away a Chinese warship in the South China Sea, in another sign of tension between the two nations in the disputed waters.

In a statement Monday citing a July 13 report, the Coast Guard said it had sent a verbal challenge to Chinese warship spotted at Marie Louise Bank. The Chinese vessel eventually moved away from the area, the statement said.

The foreign vessel sent a radio message identifying itself as “Chinese Navy Warship 189” and asked the Philippine ship tailing it to keep distance, the Coast Guard said.

The two nations’ vessels have been locked in a standoff in the South China Sea for months, after hundreds of Chinese ships swarmed disputed territory earlier this year. The Philippines has repeatedly protested the ships’ presence and has been backed by the U.S., while Beijing has said its actions were normal and legitimate.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing Monday in Beijing that he was unaware of the matter and directed questions to other authorities.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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