Maritime tension heats up in the South China Sea after Vietnam and the Philippines aimed for a stronger action to confront China’s aggressive ways.
Long-standing, bitter disputes
China, Vietnam, and the Philippines were involved in a series of confrontations over disputed territory at a Southeast Asian summit this weekend.
Hosted by Myanmar, a showdown between Vietnamese and Chinese ships near the Paracel Islands has highlighted the bitter disputes.
Southeast Asian leaders issued a statement expressing their concern to stop raising tensions at sea, but didn’t make a direct mention of China.
Island defense drill
The Philippines and Vietnam, however, made it clear since the beginning that they wanted more.
“China has brazenly moved its deep-water drilling rig escorted by over 80 armed and military vessels and many airplanes to the Vietnamese waters,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung said in a statement. He said the vessels “fired high-powered water cannons and rammed straight into the Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many ships and injuring many people on board.”