No Chinese Navy ship seen in territorial sea of Scarborough Shoal

No Chinese Navy ship seen in Scarborough Shoal’s territorial seas

/ 03:56 PM February 28, 2024

SCARBOROUGH SHOAL chinese china navy ship

The side of the Scarborough Shoal as seen using a drone. Mother boats are anchored at the deeper part of the shoal while small boats can go across the coral reefs to catch fish inside. FILE PHOTO BY REM ZAMORA

MANILA, Philippines — No Chinese Navy ship has been spotted inside the territorial sea of Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea as of Tuesday, according to a Philippine Navy official.

Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, Navy spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said no People’s Liberation Army-Navy ship was seen inside twelve nautical miles of the low-tide elevation also known as Bajo de Masinloc and Panatag Shoal.


“As of yesterday (Tuesday), that is the latest, there are no [PLA ships inside the 12 nautical miles],” Trinidad told reporters in a phone interview.


READ: Chinese aircraft spotted over Scarborough Shoal – Coast Guard 

Trinidad made the statement after Commodore Jay Tarriela, Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, noted the presence of three PLA-Navy warships within the vicinity of the Scarborough Shoal as observed by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ BRP Datu Sanday when it was deployed in the area last Feb. 21.

However, Tarriela pointed out that these warships have maintained a distance of “more than 20 nautical miles away.”

READ: BFAR verifying Chinese fishers’ alleged cyanide use in Scarborough

“What we are concerned about is if the gray ship is now inside the 12 nautical miles,” Trinidad said, referring to Scarborough Shoal’s territorial seas.

While it never deployed its naval ships inside the 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, China seized control of its lagoon in 2012 following its Chinese coast guard’s standoff with Philippine vessels.


China asserts ownership in almost the entire South China Sea, which includes most of the West Philippine Sea.

READ: 2023: A look back at rising tension in West PH Sea

In 2013, the Philippines lodged a case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. Manila challenged China’s nine-dash line at the time and won a favorable ruling that invalidated Beijing’s claims in July 2016.

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The landmark decision also covered Scarborough Shoal, which it declared a traditional fishing ground that should be shared among neighboring countries.

TAGS: Scarborough

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