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China appears to be deploying a new tactic in its maritime clash with the Philippines

China used what appeared to be a new tactic in its latest clash with the Philippines in the flashpoint of the South China Sea, with Manila claiming Chinese ships had carried out “dangerous maneuvers” including attempts to tow one of its ships .

Chinese and Philippine ships have clashed repeatedly in the South China Sea, especially near Second Thomas Shoal, a submerged reef claimed by both sides but controlled by Manila. Ships from both sides have collided numerous times during these clashes, but any attempt by the Chinese to tow away a Philippine ship could be seen as an escalation on Beijing’s part.

Washington, which has a mutual defense pact with Manila, condemned China’s “escalatory and irresponsible actions” to prevent the Philippines from “legally supplying humanitarian supplies” to soldiers stationed in a Philippine garrison built on a rusting hull of the BRP Sierra Madré. , a warship that was deliberately grounded on the shoal in 1999.

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