DFA to file diplomatic protest for latest sighting of Chinese ships in PH EEZ
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday said the government is filing a diplomatic protest over the reported presence of Chinese navy and survey ships in Philippine waters.
“Okay, got it, General. [Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)] firing off diplomatic protest,” Locsin said over Twitter after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana questioned the presence of such vessels in Philippine maritime territory.
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) August 9, 2019
Lorenzana also said he would ask the DFA to “make a protest again, or an explanation on what they [Chinese ships] are doing there.”
“Everytime there is a research [vessel] of other countries passing by — the US, Japanese, French — when they are doing survey here they allow our marine scientists to board to find out what they are doing there,” the defense chief said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Earlier this week, two Chinese survey ships have been recently spotted operating within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, according to Ryan Martinson, an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College.
Martinson, who posted the tracking of the vessels on Twitter, reported that Chinese oceanographic survey ship “Zhanjian” was operating 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Western Command on Tuesday said four Chinese navy vessels have passed through Palawan waters in June without informing Philippine authorities.
The Chinese vessels also disregarded radio warnings of the military.
Earlier, Lorenzana had also said that Chinese warships passed through Sibutu Strait near Tawi-Tawi four times since February without coordination with Philippine authorities.
Foreign warships, he noted, should at least notify the Philippine government before passing by the country’s waters. /jpv
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