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MOFA response to collision between Chinese and Philippine vessels near Second Thomas Shoal in South China Sea

June 19, 2024

The China Coast Guard (CCG) on June 15 announced the implementation of the Provisions on Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures of Coast Guard Agencies. Formulated in line with China’s Coast Guard Law, the provisions authorize the CCG to board, inspect, and detain foreign vessels and persons suspected of violating exit and entry procedures in waters that China considers to be under its jurisdiction. This has provoked a high degree of international concern.

On June 17, a collision occurred between a CCG vessel and a Philippine supply ship in waters near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, marking the first maritime confrontation since the new provisions took effect. A number of Philippine soldiers were reported to be injured, further increasing tension in the South China Sea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) calls on both parties to resolve the dispute peacefully, refrain from using military force, and avoid escalating regional tensions. 

MOFA reiterates that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is vital to regional peace and stability and a matter of high concern to the international community. Taiwan opposes any unilateral attempts or actions to alter the status quo through force. The continuing increase in gray-zone activities and coercive military behavior in the South China Sea is not only damaging to regional peace and stability but also undermines the international maritime order, which is based on international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Taiwan will continue to work with regional partners and like-minded countries to jointly safeguard a free and open Indo-Pacific.