Unauthorized Chinese research ship seen off Catanduanes

Unauthorized presence of Chinese research ship seen off Catanduanes

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 06:38 PM April 28, 2024

Chinese-flagged research vessel, "SHEN KUO," loitering in the vicinity northeast of Viga, Catanduanes as spotted by NOMAD N-22 aircraft.

A Chinese-flagged research vessel, “Shen Kuo,” is seen in the vicinity northeast of Viga, Catanduanes in this photo taken from a NOMAD N-22 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA, Philippines – An “unauthorized presence” of a Chinese-flagged research vessel was detected within the vicinity northeast of Viga, Catanduanes, on Saturday, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

In a statement on Sunday, AFP said the vessel “Shen Kuo” was first spotted on April 25, about 60.9 nautical miles east off Rapu-Rapu Island, Albay.


“Per latest reports from Tactical Operations Wing, Southern Luzon (TOWSOL), who conducted maritime patrol (MARPAT) on April 27, it was observed that the vessel was lying in the area and had no personnel on the main deck,” AFP revealed.


“Several attempts to contact the vessel through regular radio channels were unsuccessful, indicating a lack of responsiveness or willingness to engage,” it added.

In line with this, the AFP said it was continuously monitoring the unauthorized research vessel within the country’s maritime domain and asked the nearby vessels “for enhanced surveillance and reporting.”

AFP likewise coordinated with relevant agencies to investigate any illegal activities within the area and to ensure the security and protection of the country’s waters.

Aside from the research vessel, AFP Western Command spokesperson, a Chinese Navy ship — People’s Liberation Army Navy (Plan) vessel number 578, was spotted near US and PH ships conducting Balikatan exercises “somewhere in San Vicente, Palawan” on Sunday morning.

The Chinese ship’s presence was monitored a day after Plan vessel No. 793 was spotted “in the vicinity of Balikatan ships” conducting multilateral maritime exercises on Saturday.

But Coloma revealed that this vessel was no longer visible near the Balikatan ships.


Despite these, the AFP official said that they are “in control of the situation,” and the presence of Chinese Navy ships has not interrupted their exercises.

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TAGS: AFP, Catanduanes, Chinese, Research

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