China ships in Benham Rise clear intrusion, of great concern

China ships in Benham Rise clear intrusion, of great concern–Marcos

marcos on benham rise intrusion

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. during the ASEAN Summit in Australia, March 6, 2024. (Official Facebook page of Bongbong Marcos)

MELBOURNE — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the recent reported presence of Chinese vessels in Benham Rise was a “clear intrusion” into Philippine territory and a matter of “great concern.”

“Once again, this is a clear intrusion into our Philippine maritime territory and it is, as usual, of great concern,” he said said in a video statement released by the Malacañang Presidential Communication Office on Wednesday before his return flight to Manila Wednesday night.

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He said the sighted Chinese vessels are suspected to be more than ordinary research vessels.

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“I see this as absolutely unnecessary because if it is truly a research vessel then we could have come to a very simple agreement that the research vessel will ply the waters and do the research that they need to do,” continued Marcos.

READ: China didn’t get permission to conduct research at Philippine Rise — NSC

“However, there is a suspicion that they are not only research vessels so again, this is a bit of an escalation of the tension that is present in the West Philippines Sea,” he said.

Marcos just attended a special summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Australia to mark 50 years of dialogue partnership.

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TAGS: Benham Rise, China, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., West Philippine Sea

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