Chinese military says Filipino boat “illegally entered waters near Scarborough Shoal.”

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s military said on Monday that a Philippine ship had “illegally entered the waters near Scarborough Shoal” without authorization and called on the Philippines to immediately stop its provocations.

China and the Philippines have had several confrontations in disputed waters in the South China Sea and recently exchanged allegations of a collision between a Chinese coast guard ship and a boat from the Philippines.

“We urge the Philippine side to immediately stop its violations and provocations and seriously avoid further escalation,” said Col. Tian Junli, a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command.

Scarborough Shoal is claimed by China, the Philippines and Taiwan.

“The Philippine side’s actions have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and international law and basic norms of international relations, and are prone to misunderstanding and misjudgment,” Tian said.

He said China tracked, monitored, warned and blocked the ship in accordance with the law.

Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, including parts of the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

This has led to escalating maritime conflicts and territorial disputes.

(Reporting by Ethan Wang and Bernard Orr; Editing by Alison Williams)

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