Chinese research vessel encroaches into PH waters anew
MANILA, Philippines—A Chinese research vessel has spent about a week conducting marine scientific research in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, a foreign maritime expert said on Thursday (Sept. 17).
Ryan Martinson, an assistant professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College, said on Twitter that Chinese vessel “Jiageng” was last spotted 50 nautical miles off the Philippines’ coast.
The Chinese research vessel "Jiageng" has spent the last week or so conducting marine scientific research in the Philippines' EEZ…
Currently just ~50nm off the coast. pic.twitter.com/Kz3s6rMtrS
— Ryan Martinson (@rdmartinson88) September 17, 2020
Based on the track he posted, the vessel explored the Philippines’ northwestern part the past few days.
A military report obtained by Inquirer.net confirmed the presence of the Chinese research vessel in Philippine waters.
As of morning on Friday (Sept. 18), Jiageng was monitored to be approximately 52 nautical miles north northwest of Burgos, Ilocos Norte, with a speed of 1 knot, nearly stationary, heading 357 degrees, the report said.
It said the vessel conducted “stop-and-go” activities for at least seven times after doing a U-turn at approximately 57.5 nautical miles northwest of Burgos, where it “possibly conducted research/ survey operation” for almost 11 hours from 1:50 a.m. to 11:08 a.m. on Sept. 18.
The vessel’s shipbuilder Guangzhou Shipyard International, described the Jiageng as one of Beijing’s top research ships. Built in 2017, it is 77.7 meters long and capable of carrying more than 50 people. It has a maximum speed exceeding 14 knots.
Philippine government officials have yet to comment on the latest sighting of the Chinese vessel.
In August, at least two Chinese vessels carried out survey activities in Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Navy said.