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China says a Chinese ship and a Philippine supply ship collided in the disputed South China Sea

FILE - A Philippine Marine, right, swims in the waters of Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 30, 2014. A Chinese ship and a Philippine supply ship collided Monday near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South -China Sea.  June 17, 2024, the Chinese coast guard said.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

FILE – A Philippine Marine, right, swims in the waters of Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 30, 2014. A Chinese ship and a Philippine supply ship collided Monday near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South -China Sea. June 17, 2024, the Chinese coast guard said. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese ship and a Philippine supply ship collided Monday near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, the Chinese coast guard said.

The Coast Guard said a Philippine supply ship entered waters near the Second Thomas Shoal, a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands that is part of territory claimed by several countries.


China’s coast guard said in a statement on social media platform WeChat that the Philippine supply ship “ignored China’s repeated solemn warnings… and dangerously approached a Chinese ship in normal navigation in an unprofessional manner, resulting in a collision.”

“The Philippines is fully responsible for this,” it added.

The Philippines says the shoal, which is less than 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the coast, falls within its internationally recognized exclusive economic zone and often cites a 2016 international arbitration ruling that upheld China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea debunked on historical grounds.

Several incidents have occurred in recent months near the shoal, where the Philippines has a post aboard the BRP Sierra Madre ship.

The territorial disputes have strained relations and fueled fears that the conflict could draw China and the United States, the Philippines’ longtime ally, into a military confrontation. Washington makes no territorial claims over the busy sea lane, a key global trade route, but has warned it is obliged to defend the Philippines if Philippine troops, ships and aircraft come under armed attack in the South China Sea.

In addition to China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are also involved in the long-simmering territorial disputes, which are considered a flashpoint in Asia and a delicate fault line in the long-standing US-China rivalry in the region.