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Philippines summons Beijing envoy over South China Sea water cannon attack

The Philippines has summoned Beijing’s envoy after accusing the Chinese Coast Guard of wounding three of its soldiers during a water cannon attack in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, in a statement on Monday, said Manila conveyed its “strong protest against the aggressive actions” undertaken by China’s Coast Guard and Chinese maritime militias against the Philippine mission near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The department said it has also instructed its mission in Beijing to lodge a formal complaint over the incident. The move comes a day after Philippines’ National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said the confrontation wounded three Filipino soldiers caused severe damage to the Unaizah May 4 vessel. Ano did not reveal the extent and nature of their injuries, though the military said the personnel were treated on board a coastguard escort ship. The Second Thomas Shoal, known as Ayungin in the Philippines, has been the scene of repeated confrontations between Chinese and Philippine vessels over the past year. The confrontation on Saturday marked the second time that Unaizah May 4 has been damaged by the Chinese coastguard’s water cannon assault at the far-flung shoal in March. The shoal has been occupied by a small contingent of the Philippine Navy and marines on a marooned warship since 1999. The sailors, who require regular resupply missions to survive their remote assignment, have been surrounded by Chinese coastguard and suspected militia vessels in an increasingly tense territorial standoff. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, brushing off rival claims from other countries, including the Philippines, despite an international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. China’s Ministry of National Defense on Sunday warned the Philippines against “provocative” actions in the South China Sea and pledged to safeguard Beijing’s territorial sovereignty. aljazeera

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.