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Key Players in South China Sea Confrontation Scramble to Shape the Narrative

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian (L), Philippines Coast Guard Spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela (C) and U.S. military spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder (R). AFP

The release of videos on Wednesday of this week’s violent confrontation between Chinese and Philippines maritime authorities in the South China Sea triggered the usual mix of blame and recriminations among the major parties, but this time, there was a more ominous tone.

Each side used press briefings and social media to respond to the videos published by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that depicted a much more aggressive confrontation between the China Coast Guard and Philippines Navy personnel who attempted to resupply soldiers aboard the grounded World War II-era warship Sierra Madre that serves as Manila’s territorial claim over the Second Thomas Shoal:

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