China threatens more clashes after damaging Philippine vessel

China has threatened to take more “resolute” steps to constrain the Philippines’s access to a military outpost in the South China Sea despite the U.S. ally’s “strong protest” of a maritime maneuver that damaged a Philippine vessel.

“China’s continued interference with the Philippines’ routine and lawful activities in its own exclusive economic zone is unacceptable,” the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday. “It infringes upon the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction. The Philippines demands that Chinese vessels leave the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal and the Philippine exclusive economic zone immediately.”

Philippine officials issued that protest after a clash near a maritime military outpost at Ayungin, a disputed area of the South China Sea also known as the Second Thomas Shoal. A pair of Chinese Coast Guard vessels strafed a wooden Philippine vessel with water cannons on Saturday, as seen on
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