China tries to prevent Filipinos from reaching Scarborough Shoal again

A Chinese Maritime Militia Vessel attempted to hinder a Filipino-led resupply mission to Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea. The incident, captured in a video released by state-owned PTV, showed the Chinese vessel blocking the BRP Datu Sanday, a Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ship.

The Chinese vessel was reportedly only 300 meters away from the Filipino ship, with the encounter occurring just 1.2 nautical miles south of Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough or Panatag Shoal.

Despite the provocative move, the PCG and BFAR vessel managed to deliver much-needed supplies to Filipino fisherfolk in the area. Over 44 mother boats of Filipino fishing vessels received gasoline and grocery packs as part of the resupply mission.

This incident is just one of many instances of harassment faced by Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea, even after the Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim in 2016. The blocking attempt comes on the heels of a report by BFAR alleging the use of cyanide by Chinese fisherfolk in Scarborough, a claim that China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning denied.

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