Statement on actions taken by People’s Republic of China against Philippines vessels in South China Sea


December 12, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement:

“Canada condemns the actions taken by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) this weekend against Philippine civilian and government vessels in the South China Sea, first at Scarborough Shoal on December 9 and then at Second Thomas Shoal on December 10. The use of dangerous maneuvers, collisions, water cannons and long-range acoustic devices against Philippine vessels endangers lives and poses a serious threat to regional peace and stability. These incidents are the latest in an increasingly worrisome pattern of acts of intimidation by the PRC in the South China Sea.

“The PRC’s actions demonstrate a clear disregard for navigational rights and freedoms and are inconsistent with its obligations under international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Canada reiterates that the 2016 ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal in the matter of the South China Sea is binding on the parties.

“Canada remains committed to the principle that disputes must be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law.”


Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada

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