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Swarm of Chinese maritime militia vessels lay siege to a Philippines island in South China Sea

Manila: The Philippines is increasingly displeased against the Chinese movements in the South China Sea. China claims its exclusive right over the region and laid siege on the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island with a swarm of 275 vessels. The Philippines has strongly disapproved the action and has tightened security with increased patrolling in the marine region.

Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) Chief-Of-Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr, disclosed the information about the Chinese actions. Around 275 Chinese vessels have surrounded the Thitu island, situated in the Filipino marine limits, Gen Benjamin said. Therefore, he alleged that China was trying to pressurise the Philippines through such attacks. Furthermore, it was not the first such incident, but China has intruded into the Philippine marine limits even in the past with hundreds of Chinese ships laying siege on its islands, reminded the general.

The aggression from the Chinese ships posed a challenge to the Philippine defence forces, said Gen. Benjamin. Hence, the Armed Forces chief stated that the Philippines had decided to increase the patrolling in the region. Subsequently, the Philippine Foreign Ministry protested the incident after its detection. However, China has dismissed the Philippines accusations. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to them by saying that their ships had sailed to the South China Sea for fishing. Nevertheless, the vessels are not fishing boats, but trained militia vessels claimed the archipelago.

For the last few years, China and the Philippines have grown friendly, and President Rodrigo Duterte has emphasised on further developing trade cooperation with China. Albeit, the Philippines maintains its stand on the South China Sea dispute. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as Defence along with the Army, had opposed the Chinese manoeuvres in the Philippine marine limits. The archipelago accuses China of attempting to gain control of the islands within its marine limits just as it does with the other regions in the South China Sea.

China claims its sovereign right over the South China Sea and has gained control of the region at large using its military might. At the same time, China has dismissed the claims over the region also made by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. What’s more is that just like it did with the Philippine waters, China had previously dispatched a fleet of ships to the Vietnamese marine limits near the Paracel Islands as well.

”Moreover, if the Philippine President Duterte does not adopt an aggressive stand on the Philippine waters as also its islands, China will soon take over even the Philippines along with the islands and the Philippines would then be recognised as a part of China,” the Filipino military analysts warn.

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