PH military challenge vs Chinese ship intrusion in PH waters bared
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine military challenged a Chinese survey vessel that had encroached into the country’s exclusive economic zone last September, a ranking armed forces official said.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Burgos, Northern Luzon Command chief, said previous reports on the presence of a Chinese research ship in Philippine waters were true.
At a press briefing last Wednesday (Dec. 2), Burgos said a Philippine military aircraft was deployed to challenge the Chinese vessel that was found to be 59 nautical miles west of Calayan Island on Sept. 18.
“We flew over and then we challenged the ship and it responded,” said Burgos in Filipino. But he said a weather disturbance might have forced the Chinese ship to enter Philippine exclusive economic zone “because it was seeking refuge.”
The following day, the ship was still present in the country’s EEZ but farther from the coast. On the third day, it was out of Philippine waters, Burgos said.
A special report was submitted to higher authorities for proper action, he said.
Inquirer.net learned from a government source that a diplomatic protest had already been filed by the Philippines following the intrusion.
On Sept. 17, US Naval War College professor Ryan Martinson said that Chinese vessel “Jiageng” was spotted 50 nautical miles off the Philippines’ coast and appeared to be conducting research activities.
Based on the track he posted on his Twitter account, Matinson said the vessel explored the Philippines’ northwestern part for a few days.
A military report earlier obtained byInquirer.net confirmed the presence of the Chinese research vessel in Philippine waters.
As of morning on 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 builder, 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.