Philippines Investigating South China Sea Maritime Accident

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • The Philippine Coast Guard reported that an oil tanker registered under the Marshall Island's flag is suspected to have been involved in an "accidental collision" that sunk a fishing boat, killing three Filipino fishermen. The president has pledged to fully investigate the maritime collision.

    • The Coast Guard reported that the fishing boat, FFB Dearyn, was struck at around 4:20 a.m. (local time) on Monday near Scarborough Shoal. Eleven crew members survived the crash and used their service boats to reach land on Tuesday morning, carrying the dead — including the captain — to northern Luzon.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    While Philippine authorities are rightly calling for no conclusions to be drawn before their investigation is over, one can't help but wonder whether China was involved. After China illegally stole the economic zone from the Philippines in 2012, the rightful owner recently had to remove a massive Chinese buoy from its waters. It's clear that China is no stranger to violating ocean sovereignty laws.

    Pro-China narrative

    Preliminary findings by the PCG indicate that the vessel involved in the accident is a Marshall Islands-registered crude oil tanker, not a Chinese boat. China has had a long history of cooperating in good faith with its neighbors during maritime disasters.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 70% chance China will operate at least one military base in a BRICS country before 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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