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China and the Philippines Warn Each Other Not to Push South China Sea Confrontation Too Far… Or Else

A man points a water hose at a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping as he joins a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Manila on August 11, 2023, to condemn the water canon incident between China and Philippines Coast Guards in the South China/West Philippine Sea. JAM STA ROSA / AFP

Tensions between China and the Philippines steadily worsened over the weekend as both sides attacked the other for instigating the latest confrontation in their disputed waters in the South China Sea.

In Manila, Armed Forces chief General Romeo Brawner said the China Coast Guard’s use of water cannons against an unarmed Philippines Navy vessel on August 5 was tantamount to an “act of war” — which is especially provocative language in the context of the Philippines given the country’s military alliance with the United States.

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