Yesterday, hundreds of Philippine fishing boats, along with fishermen and activists from the "Atin Ito Coalition," headed towards the shoal. This demonstration, supporting Manila's claims on the islands, was praised by Commodore Jay Tarriela, spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea.

According to Tarriela, the goal was to assist Philippine fishermen in waters recently marked by repeated clashes between Chinese and Philippine vessels. The flotilla was accompanied by a single Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessel, which deployed territorial buoys to mark the route for supplying the fishermen. Just two weeks prior, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel used water cannons against a Philippine vessel in the same area, causing damage.

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Tensions between China and the Philippines have been rising in the South China Sea, a critical trade route through which over 60% of global sea trade passes. China's expansive claims, based on the "nine-dash line," are disputed by Taiwan and several Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. As China's global ambitions grow, its aggressive actions in the region have increased, leading to frequent incidents and near-clashes between military and civilian vessels from neighboring countries.

The Spratly Islands, part of Manila's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), were confirmed as such by a 2016 ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. However, Beijing has ignored this ruling, considering the islands part of its territory.

The Chinese Coast Guard often uses force, including water cannons, to remove Philippine ships on resupply missions to the approximately 20 soldiers stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre at Second Thomas Shoal. The Philippine government has reiterated its determination to maintain its military presence there. Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the Philippine National Security Council, stated that Manila will reevaluate resupply arrangements but will "not allow anyone" to remove the shipwrecked vessel.