MANILA: Two Philippine coast guard vessels intercepted a Chinese fishing boat with 10 crew off northeastern Luzon after a two-hour chase, two local broadcasters said on Friday, accusing them encroaching into Philippine territorial waters. It was the latest in a series of similar clashes, with each side saying the other is in the wrong.
China and the Philippines are locked in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway where $5 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
Lieutenant Jeffrey Collado told broadcasters ABS-CBN and GMA the steel-hulled Chinese fishing boat, flying a Philippine flag, tried to escape after ramming the Coast Guard boat but another vessel arrived to help stop the Chinese boat. “The Chinese fishing boat was in Philippine territorial waters, they are not in disputed seas,” he said, adding the 10 fishermen would be cha