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Palace: Still no confirmation of Chinese ships in PH waters

The government was still waiting  for the military’s verification of the reported presence of Chinese sea vessels in Philippine waters, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday, adding that  “it is always a concern of this government if the security of the state is threatened.”

But, “first, we have to validate whether that’s true or not,” Panelo said of the report that the Zhanjian, a Chinese oceanographic survey ship, was operating 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines.

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Ryan Martinson, assistant professor at the US Naval War College, tweeted maps and photographs of Chinese ships that have been inside the Philippines’ economic zone since Aug. 3.

The Western Command also reported that four Chinese Navy vessels had passed through the Balabac Strait in Palawan in June without informing the Philippine government.

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Seeking government permission before passing through Philippine waters is “part of security measures,” Panelo said. If they don’t ask, “then we will file a diplomatic protest,” he added.

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