U.S. gov’t: China’s alleged use of water cannons vs. Filipino fishermen provocative

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – If reports on the April 13 incident are true, then the use by Chinese Coast Guards of water cannons on Filipino fishing boats at Scarborough Shoal would be provocative, according to Marie Harf, spokesperson of the United States Department, who addressed the alleged harassment on Tuesday in Washington.

“It would represent a step backward in finding a diplomatic resolution to the dispute. Countries should not use force or coercion to support disputed territorial or maritime claims,” said Harf, who also added that her office is looking into the matter.

Scarborough Shoal, otherwise known as Panatag Shoal, is located 120 miles west of Zambales province in the Philippines. This had be a long time fishing area for Filipinos, until 2012, when China took control of it. The disputed territory has rich fishing grounds.

But China defends the actions of its coast guard in the West Philippine Sea. Beijing urged Manila to educate its fishermen, who they say violated Chinese sovereignty and territorial rights. The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not confirm, whether water cannons were used in the incident.

Hong Lei, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “The Philippines fishing vessels did not abide by the orders from the Chinese side, and they were gathering illegally in our maritime territory of the Scarborough Shoal. They violated Chinese sovereignty and territorial rights.”

President Benigno Aquino III has directed the Philippine Foreign Affairs and National Defense Departments to come up with a response to the water cannon incident.

Some Philippine congressmen have urged President Aquino to send Philippine Coast Guard ships to Scarborough Shoal to protect Filipino fishermen. Supporters of this move said China will no longer risk a confrontation because this will draw the United States in the conflict — and this is something that China certainly wants to avoid.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

8 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    22 April 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    China is just too nice to those illegal fisherman, next time it will be missiles.

  • Mario
    23 April 2015 at 3:49 am - Reply

    Send PH Coast Guard to protect Pinoy fishermen, dangerous and risky.Some PH Congressmen believed China will no longer risk a confrontation because this will draw the US in the conflict.In my opinion, China knew that the Democrat bankcrupt the US and surviving on printing US dollar. China holds majority of the $18Trillion US national debt. China knew that the US want only to sell military hardware to PH gov’t in order boast US economy.China will not construct 7 sites reclaim island if they could not defend them. Routine nuclear submarine patrol all over the Pacific Ocean and well armed Coast Guard patrol ship on stand-by closed to the reclaimed areas. What are we going to do now.Kick out all Chinese in the PH? It happenned in Vietnam,out of frustrations, local Chinese-Viet citizen were harassed, mugged and beaten, including Female and children.

  • noz
    23 April 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    this woman deputy spokesperson for the US state department saying “that her office is looking into the matter”, is simply that – just looking, since talk is so cheap. her role is to vomit bullcraps of the obobo administration. as long as obobo is in office or any demoncrap in the WH for that matter, combined with america’s trillions debt to china bloated by obobo / the demoncraps have made a very powerless USA, the PH alone will have to fight the giant ignorant china. it’s the in the dark chinese people, who need to be educated about the international laws of the nation’s sovereignty to these islands in question, and not the pinoys, with such shitty assertions of – “Beijing urged Manila to educate its fisherman, who they say violated Chinese sovereignty and territorial rights.” Beijing statement is not only illiterate, but the proof of the pudding the power of china are ruled by madmen. the united nations role is to give doses of not only literacy of the international laws, but whacks in their hard heads, if that’s what it takes, so the ruler chinamen can live and learn, their warmongering will be against the entire united nations. but, its too deplorable the united nations have become useless, have no balls to say it like it is, china is nothing but a barbaric bully of the 21st century.

  • Kuya
    24 April 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    It’s not only “provocative” but a violation of human rights…. ICJ and UN needs to step in and reminds China of the violations.

  • victor
    24 April 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    China has grown stronger thanks to the Clinton administration and the entire Congress.Included also the various businesses who shipped jobs to earn more money such the that middle working class technicians,manufacturing people,managers jobs has disappeared.Leaving only the salesman and the entire management people intact.
    Now China has a more than efficient and stronger Communist Party than before thanks to this people.These politician think that by doing this China will be a democratic country instead got more efficient in controlling their people and a threat to the entire Pacific region including the Philippines.China’s disregard of international maritime law is unlawful and shows disrespect of the international community.They can get away with this because the U,S. has a trillion dollar debt to China to collect.What if they want to get their money back, that would create panic to the US commercial sector that would cause the dollar to sink like a rock.Such that America would think twice before going to war for us against China.That leaves the Philippines holding the empty bag.We must make our country strong militarily by using cost effective way to bolster our navy like what the Israeli navy did.They even sink a US ship with lots of crew that went down with it.We don’t need large warships only gunboats equipped with the latest missile technology and any warship will think thrice before engaging it.There is no need to go to war just because of a rock President Aquino and his compare and idol Obama.President Aquino even said a measly 12 fighter jet is not a arms race.Is he kidding?You think China is shaking with fear with 2 aircraft carrier.lots o f cruise missile heavy cruisers, thousand of jet planes and a million soldiers in arm !!!Not even Malaysia has no respect for us regarding the Sabah issue which they do not want to return to us yet it got a small armed forces equipped with the latest equipment.They reaped billions of billions of dollar for a few cents of rent money.Where did we get this kind of politicians?These country just respect strong force not even diplomacy for they will not engage in discussion and neither the international community because they arm in arm in business dealing with each other not wanting to rock the boat.THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERMANENT RELATIONSHIP BUT PERMANENT SELF INTEREST!!!

  • Filam
    24 April 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    The Philippines should spend and buy equipment for coastal defense. The latest incident in pagasa island where China prevented a medivac and jammed communication. Pagasa is a filipino occupied and has buildings/inhabitants

    Do not rely on the US. Ultimately you are responsible for your own survival and defense

  • Filam
    24 April 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    I would build fish attracting devices, artificial reefs closer to the Philippines like 80 to 50 miles. Some of the fish from the shoals will move here

  • Kuya
    28 April 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Philippines should build a missile defense at Ayungin and Pag-asa Shoal. Then add more patrol boats with high powered machine guns to stop China Illegal invasion in SCSea…..