Manila: Philippine officials said that a Chinese vessel has fired water cannon at Filipino fishermen near a disputed shoal in the South China Sea. Military chief Gen Emmanuel Bautista said the incident happened at the Scarborough Shoal on 27 January. It is just the latest dispute over an area believed to be rich in resources. China claims ownership of large parts of the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal, which lie off the coast of the Philippines. Aside from the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have competing claims with China over various islands, reefs and shoals in the region. Scarborough Shoal was the scene of a tense stand-off between the Philippines and China in early 2012, when vessels from the two countries refused to leave the area for a number of weeks. It led to protests and angry rhetoric on both sides. Chinese vessels have since remained at the shoal. The Philippines, for its part, challenged China’s territorial claims at a UN tribunal last year.