China and Philippines accuse each other over collisions in disputed South China Sea
In June 2019, China and the Philippines accused each other of responsibility for two collisions that took place in the disputed South China Sea.
The first collision occurred on June 9th near Recto Bank, an oil-rich region located off the coast of the Philippines. The Philippine boat was fishing when it was hit by a Chinese vessel, causing it to sink and the 22 Filipino fishermen to be abandoned.
The second incident happened near Reed Bank on June 17th. The Filipino vessel, which was accompanied by a large number of local fishing boats, was allegedly blocked by a Chinese vessel.
The Philippines has accused China of not taking action to save the fishermen in the first incident, and of interfering in Philippine fishing activities near Reed Bank in the second incident. China has denied the claims and accused the Philippines of “harassing” its fishing vessels.
The incidents have raised tensions between China and the Philippines over their conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea. Both countries have called for an investigation into the incidents and urged restraint to prevent further escalation.