PCG spots Chinese Navy warship in Pag-asa Island anew | Global News

PCG spots Chinese Navy warship in Pag-asa Island anew

/ 07:57 PM March 30, 2023
The Philippine Coast Guard on Thursday said it has spotted a Chinese Navy warship within the territorial waters of Pagasa Island.

CALM WATERS, TENSE AIR
The BRP Sierra Madre, a Navy warship that now serves as military outpost, keeps watchover Ayungin (Second Thomas), located within the country’s exclusive economic zone. Nearby are Chinese coast guard and militia vessels in this shot taken on February 21, 2023, during an aerial surveillance by the Philippine Coast Guard.
–INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday said it has spotted a Chinese Navy warship within the territorial waters of Pag-asa Island.

During its maritime patrol from March 16 to 21, PCG’s BRP Malapascua encountered the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 056A Jiangdao II Class Missile Corvette vessel with bow number 649 within Pag-asa’s twelve nautical mile territorial waters.

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The PCG vessel issued multiple radio challenges while the Chinese Navy vessel responded with its own challenge.

READ: PCG: Fewer Chinese vessels in WPS but warship remains

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Chinese, Vietnamese vessels

Within the said period, the PCG also spotted at least 20 Chinese and Vietnamese vessels as well as China Coast Guard vessels with bow numbers 5304 and 5305 near the Sabina Shoal.

Multiple radio challenges were issued by BRP Malapascua  but no response was received, prompting the deployment of rigid-hull Inflatable boats to disperse the foreign flagged vessels in and around the shoal.

Chinese vessel near Ayungin shoal

While patrolling Ayungin Shoal, BRP Malapascua also monitored the presence of a Chinese vessel with bow number 5201 and issued radio challenges to the latter.

The vessel then proceeded to shadow BRP Malapascua at a distance of approximately 1,600 yards.

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PCG also said the vessel came as close as 1.2 NM from the grounded Philippine Navy Vessel BRP Sierra Madre.

BRP Sierra Madre hosts a small contingent of military personnel to assert the country’s claim to the disputed waters.

READ: PH should not fall for China’s ‘gray zone trap’ – maritime security scholar

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Sweeping claims

China’s actions at sea are anchored on its sweeping claims over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

In 2013, under the administration of then President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Philippines challenged China’s claims before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.

In July 2016, the court ruled in favor of the Philippines, thus invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim that covers more than 80 percent of the entire South China Sea— including the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

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The PCA ruled that China’s nine-dash line claim had no basis in international law and that it had violated the Philippines’ sovereign right to fish and explore resources in the West Philippine Sea, which is within the country’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.

RELATED STORIES

PH Coast Guard needs at least 20 offshore patrol vessels

DFA chief: China harassment a ‘daily situation’ for PH

JPV
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TAGS: China, Chinese, Pagasa Island, Philipines, Warship
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