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Philippines accuses Chinese boats of 'dangerous' manoeuvres

NEW DELHI: Philippines accused Chinese coast guard ships of engaging in "dangerous" maneuvers that obstructed a Filipino vessel delivering supplies to local fishermen near Scarborough Shoal. Similar accusations were made by the Philippine Coast Guard a few days earlier.
Scarborough Shoal, a disputed area in the South China Sea, has been a source of tension between the two countries since China's seized it from the Philippines in 2012.

Chinese patrol boats have been allegedly harassing Philippine vessels and preventing Filipino fishermen from accessing the lagoon where fish are abundant.
During the recent encounters, a Philippine vessel belonging to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources was trailed by a Chinese navy ship, China Coast Guard vessels, and other Chinese boats. This Filipino vessel was delivering essential supplies, including food and fuel, to enable local fishermen to spend more time at sea and increase their catch.
Throughout the journey, both the Philippine vessel and the Chinese coast guard vessels exchanged radio messages, each accusing the other of encroaching into their respective territorial waters.

Additionally, Chinese coast guard vessels reportedly obstructed the Filipino vessel on four occasions by crossing its bow and halting its progress near the shoal.
Despite these challenges, the Filipino vessel managed to reach within a few kilometers of the shoal and successfully delivered 21,000 liters (5,550 gallons) of diesel and other provisions to 19 Philippine fishing boats.
(with input from agencies)

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