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Philippine Navy completes resupply mission after China blockade



Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the two ships had been unhindered earlier Tuesday in their approach to the Sierra Madre, a ship that was purposely landed decades ago at Second Thomas Shoal, the Secretary of State room Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.

A small boat, dispatched from a Chinese coast guard vessel with three people, recorded the unloading of Philippine personnel and cargo, he said.

The Philippines and the United States last week condemned China’s coast guard for interrupting the mission and use water cannons on the supply boats. The area is located within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

“I spoke to the Chinese ambassador that we consider these actions a form of intimidation and harassment,” Lorenzana said.

The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

A small army has for years relied on a rusted ship at the shoal to assert the Philippines’ claim to the area.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday at a summit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping that he was “disgusted” by what happened at the shoal last week and that the rule of law was the only way out. “giant” goods in the East Sea.

China claims much of the South China Sea as its own, using the “nine-dash line” on maps that a 2016 arbitration court ruled had no basis under international law.

Over the years, it has deployed hundreds of ships in large clusters to bolster its claims.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims.

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