The Philippine Navy discovered the remains of a Chinese missile in a disputed sea area over the weekend. That was then taken from her.
The Chinese Coast Guard has forcibly seized rocket parts recovered by the Philippines Navy. This is reported by the AP news agency, citing a Philippine Vice Admiral. Accordingly, the Filipino sailors discovered the debris on Sunday off the island of Thitu (or Pag-asa) in the South China Sea and began towing it. Then a ship of the Chinese coast guard approached and blocked the way several times. Finally, the Chinese seamen cut the tow rope and took the piece of debris by force. China contradicts the description. From there it is said that the rocket part was handed over after a “friendly consultation”.
Always fighting over China’s missiles
Debris from Chinese missiles has been found several times in Philippine waters. In the summer, after an uncontrolled crash, the main stage of a Long March 5B rocket crashed into the so-called Sulu Sea, a few dozen kilometers south of the Philippine island of Palawan. This has drawn international criticism, with the Philippines’ Space Agency urging the country to ratify UN treaties that provide a basis for financial compensation in the event of damage caused by such objects, the AP says. It is not known from which rocket the piece of debris now found came. China has repeatedly rejected criticism of the uncontrolled crashes.
The missile part confiscated incident has now taken place in a region of the South China Sea that is disputed among several states. China has built military installations on several islands there to support its own claims. According to the AP, the Philippines has long protested against the Chinese actions and the increasingly aggressive measures taken by its big neighbor. The country is supported by the USA, among others. In the event of a conflict, however, maximum tolerance would be maintained, a spokeswoman for the Philippine armed forces assured: “Because it was about an unidentified object and at the same time not about life or death, our team decided to withdraw.”