By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson (PNA photo by Joyce Rocamora)

MANILA – United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson condemned on Monday night China’s aggressive actions near the Ayungin Shoal that caused “bodily injury” to a Filipino.

“The US condemns the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) aggressive, dangerous maneuvers near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, which caused bodily injury, damaged Philippine vessels, and hindered lawful maritime operations to supply food, water, and essential supplies to Filipino personnel within the Philippine exclusive economic zone,” she said in a post on X.

“We stand by our allies in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she added.

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea confirmed that Beijing, through its Navy, Coast Guard, and maritime militias, has conducted dangerous maneuvers, which involved “ramming and towing” during the country’s routine resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal on June 17.

However, it has yet to provide specific details on the number of personnel injured during the mission.

Also on X, the ambassadors of France, Japan, the Netherlands, and the European Union expressed deep concern about the latest incident.

French Ambassador Marie Fontanel reiterated France’s call for respect of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and freedom of navigation.

“We oppose any threat or use of force contrary to international law and recall the importance of resolving disputes through dialogue,” she said.

Japanese Ambassador Kazuya Endo said Japan stands with Manila and would cooperate with like-minded countries in “maintaining and enhancing the free and open international order based on the rule of law”.

Dutch Ambassador Marielle Geraedts said, “Irresponsible maneuvers that endanger the safety of ships and crews call into question the freedom of sea routes guaranteed under international law.”

“(The Netherlands) considers it of utmost importance that the 2016 arbitral award is fully respected and implemented,” she said.

EU Ambassador Luc Veron echoed the same concern and took note that China’s activities have caused harm and damaged Filipino vessels within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

“The EU opposes coercion and intimidation in the South China Sea, or anywhere. We support international law and peaceful dispute resolution,” he said. (PNA)