The Philippines told China it will not abandon a disputed shoal in the South China Sea after it accused China’s coast guard of using water cannons and “dangerous” moves to prevent Manila from sending supplies to its troops occupying the reef.
Likening the Aug. 5 incident to a “David vs Goliath situation”, Jonathan Malaya, a senior Philippine National Security Council (NSC) official said China’s increased presence at the Second Thomas Shoal will not deter the Philippines’ resolve to protect its position there.
“We will never abandon Ayungin Shoal,” Malaya said, using its local name, as he dismissed China’s call for Manila to remove its warship from the atoll, which was intentionally grounded in 1999 to reinforce the Philippines’ sovereignty claims.
“We will continue to resupply troops in the grounded vessel as long as it takes,” Malaya said in a joint news conference with the military, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and foreign ministry.
“It is our right to bring what is necessary to maintain the station and to be sure that our troops there are properly provisioned.”