China coast guard personnel a ‘band of barbarians’, says Philippine navy official

June 20, 2024 - 6:18 PM
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Philippine Coast Guard personnel prepare rubber fenders after Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked their way to a resupply mission at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 5, 2024. (Reuters/Adrian Portugal/File Photo)

China’s coast guard personnel acted like a “band of barbarians” during a Philippine resupply mission to a contested shoal in the South China Sea this week that led to injuries and damage to vessels, a senior navy official said on Thursday.

A Philippine sailor suffered serious injury after what its military described as “intentional-high speed ramming” by the Chinese Coast Guard, aiming to disrupt a resupply mission for troops stationed on the Second Thomas Shoal.

China’s Coast Guard personnel, which Philippine military officials said were carrying knives and spears, looted firearms and “deliberately punctured” Philippine boats involved in the mission.

“We were unprepared for that kind of response,” Philippine navy spokesperson Roy Trinidad said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Trinidad said China’s “illegal, aggressive and deceptive” actions raises the risk of miscalculation at sea.

—Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by John Mair