South Korea Voices "Grave Concerns" Over China's Use of Water Cannons Against Philippine Ships

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.26 - 2024 9:52 AM CET

Photo: Anne Katherine Jones /
Photo: Anne Katherine Jones /
South Korea expresses "grave concerns" over China's use of water cannons against Philippine ships.

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South Korea's foreign ministry on Tuesday expressed "grave concerns" about China's use of water cannons against Philippine ships, stating that the incident is a source of tension in the South China Sea that compromises maritime order. This incident was reported by Reuters.

The incident, which occurred on Saturday, involved the Chinese coastguard allegedly using water cannons on a civilian boat delivering supplies to troops stationed in the Spratly Islands. This archipelago, largely uninhabited, has been at the center of longstanding territorial disputes between the Philippines and China.

Following the confrontation, the Philippines filed a protest, reporting damage to the boat and injuries among the crew.

In response, Beijing urged Manila to proceed with caution and engage in dialogue, suggesting that the bilateral relations between the two nations were at a "crossroads."

"We are gravely concerned about the recent and repeated use of water cannons in the South China Sea," stated Lim Soo-suk, spokesperson for Seoul's foreign ministry, during a briefing.

"These actions increase tensions in the South China Sea, a major international navigation route used by all countries including Korea, and undermine efforts to maintain peace, stability, security, and a rules-based maritime order."

Lim further emphasized the importance of respecting freedom of navigation and overflight, in accordance with international law.

The administration of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has consistently expressed its concerns regarding tensions in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, opposing any attempts to alter the status quo through force.