Written by By Sandra Tokar, CNN Beijing
It’s still unclear what provoked the water cannon attack — a dispute over fishing waters, or a member of the Chinese coast guard getting carried away.
But the incident is the latest in a string of confrontations between Chinese coast guard vessels and local fishermen in the South China Sea.
The incident happened Tuesday when Chinese fishing boats fired gas canisters and fired bottles in the air at a Filipino fishing boat as it came within 30 meters of Chinese coast guard vessels near Scarborough Shoal.
“We lost and lost all our equipment,” said Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, president of the Association of Fisheryworkers of Southern Philippines, describing how they lost their 18-metre fishing boat and had only meager salvage salvages.
The incident occurred just six kilometers off of Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by both China and the Philippines.
In 2012, China sent their coast guard boats to block Philippine vessels from the disputed South China Sea territory.
A large Philippine flag stands in front of its stricken fishing boat after it was attacked by Chinese coast guard ships near Scarborough Shoal on April 17, 2015. Credit: Sonia Rincon/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
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