MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has called in a Chinese envoy to protest what it says was the firing of a water cannon by a Chinese government vessel on Filipino fishermen in a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said Tuesday that a diplomatic protest had been handed to Beijing's charge d'affairs over the Jan. 27 incident at Scarborough Shoal, a fishing area claimed by the Philippines and China.
President Benigno Aquino III says his government wants an explanation from Beijing.
Hernandez says it was the first time a water cannon was fired at Filipino fishermen in disputed waters.
China claims virtually the whole South China Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas and one of the world's busiest sea lanes.