Philippines Accuses China of Using Laser at Sea

    Photo: Philippine Coast Guard [via BBC News]

    The Facts

    • The Philippines on Monday charged a Chinese coast guard ship with temporarily blinding some crew members of a Philippine coast guard vessel with a military-grade laser in the South China Sea, describing it as a "blatant" violation of Philippine sovereign rights.

    • Last week, the PRC ship allegedly also navigated dangerously close, around 450 feet (137 meters), to block the Philippine patrol vessel BRP Malapascua from approaching Second Thomas Shoal — a submerged reef that has been occupied by Philippine forces.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    The country closest to Taiwan and the South China Sea, the Philippines is faced with opportunities and challenges it must deal with in the face of Chinese aggression. With its relationship with the US as the key, it's time for the Philippine people to come together and support a coherent foreign policy, modernize its defense forces, and defend their sovereign rights.

    Pro-China narrative

    The PRC vessel exercised professional restraint during its on-site operations. While China has been accused of aggression, it is the Philippines that has frequently engaged in provocative behavior on the reef in the past decade — seeking to undermine China's sovereign rights and regional stability.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

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