China unleashed a series of attacks on the Philippines naval vessel that had entered what Beijing called an “exclusive economic zone” under its jurisdiction.
In April, the Philippines ship entered what China considers the “first island chain” of waters, nine miles from its shoreline, claimed by Manila. The attack, by speedboats armed with scimitars and machine guns, left the ship’s radio equipment disabled and its engines broken. The radio equipment is used by ships to coordinate their actions in order to avoid conflict with other ships or ports.
The retaliatory attack caused the Philippine Navy ship to take refuge in a regional naval patrol facility and support its manned positions with light arms and anti-missile missiles until it was able to sail back to its home port in Subic Bay, reports the Manila-based Diario Inquirer. The patrol area is in the Spratly Islands, some of which China has contested with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Related: President Donald Trump talks trade, energy with China’s Xi Jinping