Beijing has defended the actions of its vessels in the disputed South China Sea after Manila accused the Chinese coast guard of using water cannon and other aggressive tactics against Philippine fishing boats.
Without directly confirming that water cannon was used, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that “official Chinese vessels in waters near the Huangyan island carried out their duties and managed the relevant waters according to law”, Reuters reported.
“Recently, many Philippine fishing boats disobeyed China’s administration and gathered illegally in Huangyan Island waters, violating China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying in a regular briefing in Beijing.
“We demand that the Philippine side increase its education and control of its fishermen, and cease all behavior that violates China’s sovereignty and rights and interests.”
The comments came after the Philippines said China’s coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats.
Huangyan Island is also known as Scarborough Shoal.
Filipino fishermen have also accused the Chinese coast guard of boarded their fishing boats and throwing away fish catch and fishing gear last week after spraying them with water in the disputed territory.
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