Intrusion continues: China research vessel seen operating in PH waters | Global News

Intrusion continues: China research vessel seen operating in PH waters

/ 05:32 PM August 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—A Chinese research vessel was spotted operating near Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

In a tweet, Ryan Martinson, of China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College, said the ship “Hai Da Hao” was seen 65 nautical miles east of Scarborough Shoal.

The ship is being handled by the China Ocean University, Martinson said Wednesday night (Aug. 11).

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Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Philippine security officials are currently verifying the report.

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“Our next course of action will be based on the facts that are gathered by the maritime patrols in the area,” he said in a statement.

Lorenzana said the Northern Luzon Command conducts regular patrols in the area and provides support to the Philippine Coast Guard and other agencies to secure Philippine waters.

Last month, Filipino fishermen found a piece of equipment, believed to be used for oil exploration with Chinese markings, near a Pangasinan town adjacent to Panatag Shoal.

The object was identified by experts as an ocean bottom seismometer. Some expressed concern that China could be conducting scientific research or oil exploration within the Philippine exclusive economic zone without permission from the Philippine government.

Manila filed and won a case against Beijing at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2012 after China seized control of Panatag Shoal, a traditional Filipino fishing ground, following a standoff between the Philippines and China.

China coast guard ships continued to control the shoal to this day and rule over Philippine EEZ.

RELATED STORY: Fishermen find oil exploration device off coastal town in Pangasinan

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TAGS: China incursion, Philippine EEZ, West Philippine Sea

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