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Chinese survey ship spotted anew in Philippines’ EEZ

/ 08:22 PM August 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — A Chinese research ship that conducted a survey on the eastern side of the country earlier this month was spotted again this week within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Ryan Martinson, a professor at the US Naval War College, shared on his Twitter account on Wednesday that Chinese research vessel Zhang Jian has returned to the eastern side of Philippines and was heading west at 10 knots.

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A separate Facebook post from Jess Goren of Karagatan Patrol showed that the ship was 200 kilometers of northeast of Catanduanes as of Aug. 22.

Based on the satellite track, the ship appeared to be conducting exploration outside the Philippines’ EEZ with it’s back and forth movements.

The same ship was spotted conducting marine survey 80 nautical miles from the country’s eastern portion on Aug. 3 to 5. That time, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana questioned the presence of the vessel and it prompted a diplomatic protest.

On Friday, the defense chief said that Manila was aware of the newly reported presence the Chinese survey ship but said it mostly stayed out of the Philippines’ EEZ.

The ship also did not seek permission when it passed through the country’s waters this week, he said.

“Nakita ko yung track ng survey ship na yan. Karamihan ng area niya is outside the  EEZ, ‘dun sa Pacific Ocean. Paminsan-minsan dumaan dito. Hindi siya nagtatagal,” he told reporters in a press briefing.

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(I’ve seen the track of the survey ship. It mostly stayed out of the Philippines’ EEZ, in the Pacific Ocean. It passed through our waters from time to time but it didn’t stay long.)

“Pagka-dumaan sila sa atin, pag umikot siya siguro medyo may iniiwasan siyang alon or whatever. I think it’s okay, huwag lang sila magtagal ‘dun sa EEZ,” he said.

(If it was passing through, maybe to avoid rough seas or whatever. I think it’s okay as long as it doesn’t hang out within our EEZ.)

The reported fresh presence of the Chinese survey ship came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte issued an order requiring foreign vessels to ask for clearance when passing through Philippine waters.

Lorenzana and the military in recent weeks have questioned the unauthorized and multiple transits of Chinese warships and survey ships within Philippine territorial waters.

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TAGS: Chinese ships, EEZ
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