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Resupply Mission, Boat Accident Notch Up Tensions in South China Sea

A file image from late September shows two Chinese coastguard ships stationed at the disputed Scarborough Shoal. Image Ted Aljibe / AFP

The Philippines successfully carried out a resupply mission to a military outpost in the South China Sea despite Chinese efforts. A statement by the Philippine National Security Council accused Chinese boats of trying to “block, harass, and interfere” with the mission.

The statement said a “significant number” of vessels from the Chinese coastguard and maritime militias tried to stop the process of taking supplies to a WWII-era vessel in the Second Thomas Shoal of the Spratly Islands, which functions as a de facto Philippine military base.

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