UPDATED 11:02 AM PT – Monday, March 28, 2022
The Philippine Coast Guard released a video of their face-off with a Chinese patrol vessel that reportedly took place in the disputed waters off the South China Sea on March 2. Philippine officials denounced China’s actions as “risky close-distance maneuvering.”
China has sought to control strategic maritime routes in the South China Sea over the past few years. U.S. Navy officials say China’s military presence in the area requires a closer cooperation with the Philippines.
“An opportunity to work with the Philippine military is critical right now as we strengthen our ties, our relationships, as we both have a shared vision and a common goal for a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” stated CDR Joel Martinez, Commanding Officer for Patrol Squadron 47, U.S. Navy.
WATCH: BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402) has reported one close distance maneuvering incident involving a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel during its maritime patrol in Bajo de Masinloc on 02 March 2022.
— Philippine Coast Guard (@coastguardph) March 27, 2022
Beijing said its vessel was operating in Chinese territorial waters while the Philippines asserted the area is within its own exclusive economic zone.