Germany watching China’s conduct in SCS with ‘deep concern’

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

June 21, 2024, 9:41 pm

MANILA – The German government said it is watching China’s conduct in the South China Sea with “deep concern” days after a Filipino soldier sustained injuries when a band of Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) personnel boarded and looted a Philippine vessel conducting a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre near Ayungin Shoal.

“The German Government is watching China’s conduct in the South China Sea with deep concern. The reports, images and videos now available on the latest incident early this week are disturbing,” the Federal Foreign Office of Germany said in a statement dated June 20.

“Philippine boats were blocked, rammed and boarded by force by Chinese vessels during a routine supply mission. Several Philippine crew members were injured. We wish all of them a speedy recovery,” it added, referring to the June 17 confrontation at the West Philippine Sea.

The German government recognized that the incident took place in the waters around Ayungin Shoal, also called the Second Thomas Shoal, which it said “are part of the Philippine exclusive economic zone according to the binding award of 2016 in line with the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

READ: PCG: China harassment delayed rescue of AFP personnel in Ayungin

“Dangerous and irresponsible maneuvers and actions such as the incident on Monday run contrary to UNCLOS and increase the risk of further escalation,” it said.

“Together with its international partners, Germany will continue to advocate the comprehensive implementation of UNCLOS, freedom of navigation, the peaceful settlement of disputes and the preservation of peace and stability,” it added.

Philippine Navy spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, on Thursday called the CCG a "band of barbarians" following the attack.

He said these men “have no right” to wear their uniform as Coast Guard men are supposed to be responsible for the safety of life at sea.

“Their actions endanger life at sea. It does not speak well of a country that want(s) to be a global power," he said. (PNA)