South China Sea: Maritime Tensions Rise Between PRC, Philippines

    South China Sea: Maritime Tensions Rise Between PRC, Philippines
    Photo: Jes Aznar/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • A Philippine boat and a Chinese ship collided on Sunday in the disputed South China Sea near Second Thomas Shoal — a day after Manila accused Beijing of using water cannons to block three of its vessels.

    • The three incidents with water cannons Saturday took place near Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines but occupied by the PRC. In two separate incidents earlier this year, the Philippines also accused China of using water cannons near Second Thomas Shoal.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    The Philippines' maritime territorial rights are recognized by almost the entire world — except China. The PRC must know that the world is watching and find a peaceful solution to the dispute. Beijing must follow the norms of the rules-based international order and respect maritime security in the South China Sea.

    Pro-China narrative

    Even Western historians have long acknowledged China's historic activity in the South China Sea. China's claims to sovereignty over territories in the region are based on these historical facts — something even Japanese official maps have often shown. Therefore, the Philippines' raising of disputes over this and its aggressive actions are groundless and will be strongly confronted. Western hegemony is creating instability in the region.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 15% chance that there will be a US-China war by 2035, according to the Metaculus forecasting community.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter