The Philippines said on Tuesday it had lodged a formal protest after two Filipino vessels were prevented from bringing supplies to marines by the Chinese coastguard on a disputed shoal in the South China Sea. The foreign ministry said the Chinese charge d’affaires was summoned over the March 9 incident on Second Thomas Shoal, which sits around 200 km from the western Philippine island of Palawan and is part of the contested Spratly island group.

“China’s actions constitute a clear and urgent threat to the rights and interests of the Philippines,” said the Department of Foreign Affairs. — AFP