Four Filipino crewmen were said to have been injured in the confrontation that took place at Ayungin Shoal. The Philippines said Tuesday that dangerous manoeuvres by China Coast Guard vessels caused two collisions with Philippine boats, leaving four crew injured during a resupply mission in the South China Sea.

The Philippine Information Agency said in a statement that “China Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia vessels harassed, blocked, deployed water cannons, and executed dangerous maneuvers in another attempt to illegally impede or obstruct a routine resupply and rotation mission at Ayungin Shoal”.

This led to minor structural damage to the hull of the Philippine Coast Guard vessel.

Then, over an hour later, another Chinese coast guard ship blocked and collided with the supply boat Unaizah May 4, according to the officials.

The same supply boat was later hit by Chinese coast guard water cannons. This shattered its windshield and injured at least four people, according to a statement from the Philippine Information Agency.

“Once again, China’s latest unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous maneuvers against a legitimate and routine Philippine rotation and resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal, have put the lives of our people at risk and caused actual injury to Filipinos on board UM4.

“The systematic and consistent manner in which the People’s Republic of China carries out these illegal and irresponsible actions puts into question the sincerity of its calls for peaceful dialogue and lessening of tensions,” reads the Philippines statement.

Tuesday’s incident was the latest in a series of maritime confrontations between the Philippines and China, which have been locked in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning in a regular press conference on March 4 said that China’s position on the recent situation at South China Sea is that the Philippines has frequently made provocative moves in the South China Sea, infringing on China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

“China has taken necessary measures in accordance with the law to defend its own sovereignty, rights and interests. There is no such situation of China “harassing” the Philippines,” she noted.