West Philippine Sea ramming incident could escalate – Pentagon

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 11:25 AM June 19, 2024

West Philippine Sea ramming incident could escalate - Pentagon

This photo shows an aerial view of China Coast Guard vessel inside Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea on February 16, 2024. FILE PHOTO/Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines — The United States Department of Defense called China’s behavior in the recent West Philippine Sea ramming “provocative,” warning that it could escalate into “more violence.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder slammed China in the latest ramming incident in the West Philippine Sea, which left eight Filipino servicemen injured— with one reportedly losing their thumb.

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READ: PH Navy sailor loses thumb, others injured in CCG ramming incident

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“This kind of behavior is provocative, it’s reckless, it’s unnecessary, and as you highlight, it could lead to something bigger and more violent,” said Ryder in a press briefing Tuesday (US time).

“We condemn the escalatory and irresponsible actions by the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to deny the Philippines from executing a lawful maritime operation in the South China Sea,” he added.

Ryder reiterated that the US will continue to stand with the Philippines.

“We are going to continue to stand with our Philippine allies.

READ: Teodoro: China’s ‘dangerous, reckless’ behavior to be resisted by AFP

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The Philippine government has yet to divulge more details about the newest ramming incident, particularly how the situation escalated to a serviceman losing his finger.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. only said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines will resist such tactics.

“China’s dangerous and reckless behavior in the West Philippine Sea shall be resisted by the AFP,” Teodoro said in a previous statement.

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