PCG chief: China Coast Guard’s actions cast doubt on its ‘real identity’
MANILA, Philippines — China Coast Guard’s (CCG) “illegal, reckless, and irresponsible” actions are raising doubts on its “real identity” as a law enforcement service, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan said Saturday.
“The systematic and consistent behavior of the CCG vessels do not align with the universally accepted behavior of coast guards,” Gavan said during a press conference in Pasay City.
The PCG chief’s remarks were an apparent reaction to the latest conduct of the CCG in the West Philippine Sea.
On Friday, November 10, a CCG vessel used a water cannon against a Philippine military-commissioned resupply boat and employed “dangerous maneuvers” against PCG vessels en route to the BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.
“Ironically … they are supposed to ensure safety of life at sea,” Gavan said, noting that the CCG “deliberately violated” the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea to which the People’s Republic of China is also a signatory state.
“The dangerous maneuvering, such as shown by the CCG vessels, are illegal, reckless, and irresponsible actions that puts into question and serious doubt the narrative of law enforcement and fundamentally, their real identity as a coast guard organization,” he also stressed.
“The PCG, on the other hand, has acted responsibly, consistent with operational rules based on international law … that clearly aligns with the peaceful and rules-based norms among coast guard organizations in the region,” Gavan continued.
Unlike other coast guards which are civilian in nature, the CCG is under China’s People’s Armed Police (PAP) which is controlled by the Chinese military, retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio previously told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Carpio also said that the PAP is part of the People’s Liberation Army chain of command under the Central Military Commission of the China Communist Party headed by President Xi Jinping.