The Chinese foreign ministry disclosed today that it stopped a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin Shoal, but blamed the Philippines at the same time for the collision that occurred between its China Coast Guard (CCG) ship and the country’s supply vessels.

“On June 17, one supply vessel and two speed boats of the Philippines, without permission from the Chinese government, intruded into waters near Ren’ai Jiao in China’s Nansha Qundao in an attempt to send materials, including construction materials, to the military vessel illegally grounded at Ren’ai Jiao. China Coast Guard took necessary control measures to stop the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law. The maneuvers at the scene were professional, restrained, justified and lawful,” Lin Jian, a spokesman from the Chinese foreign ministry, said Monday.

The Department of National Defense (DND) has yet to give an account of how the collision happened but has denounced China’s narrative of the incident as “deceptive and misleading.”

In a statement it released, Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the DND, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), will “exert our utmost effort in order to fulfill our sworn mandate to protect our territorial integrity, sovereignty, and sovereign rights” in WPS, particularly the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“It should now be clear to the international community that China’s actions are the true obstacles to peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Teodoro said.

For its part, the U.S. Embassy in Manila released a statement denouncing China’s action, even stating that the collision led to “bodily injury” on the part of one of the Philippine supply boat’s crew.

“The United States condemns the PRC’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 Philippine personnel within the Philippines exclusive economic zone. We stand by our allies in support of a #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific,” U.S. Ambassador MaryKay Carlson stated in a social media post.

The incident happened as China recently enacted its law, allowing CCG vessels to use deadly force to assert its claim over the entire South China sea, which it claims to be its own.

“The regulations are rolled out by China Coast Guard to enforce China’s Coast Guard Law, standardize the administrative law-enforcement procedures of Coast Guard agencies and better uphold order at sea. It is consistent with universal practices,” the Chinese spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF WPS) likewise condemned China’s actions that disrupted the AFP rotation and resupply (RORE) mission to BRP Sierra Madre with “illegal and aggressive actions” of its maritime forces.

The NTF WPS stated that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), CCG, and China Maritime Militia (CMM) vessels engaged in dangerous maneuvers, including ramming and towing.

It added that despite the illegal, aggressive, and reckless actions by the Chinese maritime forces, our personnel remained calm, showed “restraint and professionalism,” refrained from escalating the tension, and carried on with their mission.

“We strongly condemn the illegal, aggressive, and reckless actions of the PLA-N, CCG, and CMM. Their actions put at risk the lives of our personnel and damaged our boats, in blatant violation of international law, particularly the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the NTF WPS said in a separate statement released on Monday evening. (with reports from Gerald Ticke and Celeste Anna Formoso)