China’s fleet shadowed US-PH joint patrols to assert claim, says Brawner
MANILA, Philippines — China made its presence felt during the joint patrol of Philippines and United States in West Philippine Sea (WPS) to support Beijing’s claim that it owns almost all of South China Sea (SCS).
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. gave this view on Friday.
His remark comes, after Manila and Washington on Thursday concluded their three-day maritime exercises in WPS.
A Chinese aircraft and frigate showed up during the military exercises of both countries off Lubang Island in Mindoro on Wednesday.
These events were witnessed by INQUIRER.net and a few other reporters on board Boeing’s P8-A Poseidon, an American surveillance aircraft that flew overhead to monitor the joint patrols.
On Thursday, another Chinese vessel shadowed the warships of Philippines and US that were on surveillance in the waters off Palawan.
“We expected this already, and we are also thankful that there were no untoward incidents that happened during this whole joint patrol,” Brawner said in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.
“This goes with their narrative that the SCS belongs to them as bounded by the 10-dash line,” he explained.
The Chief of Staff noted Chinese vessels are also engaging in shadow activities in other sites of disputes.
“It’s not just our ships, but even the other ships in the area [experiences this],” Brawner said.
He added China was also reported to have shadowed the boats of Malaysia, Vietnam, and other countries in the region.