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PH: China's recent 'aggressive' actions in WPS a 'serious escalation'


China's "aggressive" actions against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) over the weekend were a "serious escalation" on the part of Beijing's agents, a Philippine official said Monday.

"This is a serious escalation on the part of the agents of the People's Republic of China," National Task Force for West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said at a Palace briefing.

On Sunday, Chinese vessels used water cannon and rammed Philippine vessels conducting a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela said that the agency has monitored around 46 Chinese vessels in the area at the time.

He said this was the largest number of maritime vessels they have monitored during their regular resupply missions.

"That's 46. This is the largest number of maritime forces that we have documented so far in the previous months," he said in the same briefing.

According to the PCG, it has monitored 36 Chinese maritime militia vessels, eight Chinese Coast Guard vessels, and two People's Liberation Army Navy vessels in the area. 

Malaya also said China's claim that the United States is fueling the Philippines' audacity for provocation has no basis. —with Reuters/KBK, GMA Integrated News  

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