Philippines protests alleged Chinese ramming of 3 Filipino fishing boats at disputed shoal

The Philippine government says it has protested to Beijing after a Chinese coast guard ship allegedly rammed and damaged three Filipino fishing boats and endangered the lives of fishermen at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it also lodged a separate protest with Beijing on Wednesday over what it said was the illegal collection of endangered giant clams by Chinese fishermen, in the process destroying coral outcrops at Scarborough Shoal off the northwestern Philippines.

The incidents are the latest in a long-running territorial dispute that has strained relations between the two Asian neighbors.

China took effective control of Scarborough in 2012. Chinese coast guard ships have also surrounded Second Thomas Shoal, where Filipino marines are manning a grounded navy ship.

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