Philippines reports chase of military vessel by Chinese ships

File – File image of the U.S. Navy’s Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Philippine Sea in joint military activities in the face of tensions in the region. – MC2 LOUIS STAATS IV/US NAVY / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACT

Philippine authorities have alleged that the Chinese Coast Guard allegedly chased a Philippine Navy vessel with four boats near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Armand Balilo confirmed the pursuit by two warships during the day on Saturday, even entering the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone, where the vessel was located, reports ABS CBN.

The Philippine Armed Forces warship was on a «patrol and search mission», according to ABS CBN.

Tensions between Manila and Beijing have increased recently as China increases its presence in the South China Sea, with more ships appearing off the west coast of the Philippines, periodically following Philippine fishing vessels.