US condemns ‘escalatory and irresponsible’ China actions in South China Sea

June 18, 2024 - 9:47 AM
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An aerial view shows the BRP Sierra Madre on the contested Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin, in the South China Sea, March 9, 2023 (File Photo via Reuters)

The U.S. State Department on Monday condemned what it called “escalatory and irresponsible” actions by China in the South China Sea on Sunday and reaffirmed its support for the Philippines.

China’s coast guard said a Philippine supply ship “deliberately and dangerously” approached a Chinese ship resulting in a slight collision, a charge Manila rejected.

READ: China coast guard says Philippine supply ship bumped Chinese ship in South China Sea

The two nations have traded barbs for months over dangerous maneuvers at the Second Thomas Shoal, an atoll within Manila’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea. China claims the area as its own.

—Reporting by Jasper Ward, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Caitlin Webber