A Chinese navy vessel shadowed BRP Francisco Dagohoy from Pag-asa Island while it was heading to Palawan after helping the fisheries bureau deliver livelihood assistance to the residents there, Philippines-based ABS-CBN News reported citing the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Armand Balilo said the Chinese vessel was not immediately noticed by the patrol vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The incident took place on Friday, Job Manahan wrote in the ABS-CBN News report. Armand Balilo said that the Chinese Navy left the region after the radio challenges. BFAR Chief Information Officer Nazario Briguera said the sail to the Pag-asa Island for their project was peaceful and smooth. He further said he was not on board the BRP Dagohoy when the incident took place, ABS-CBN News reported.
Briguera said the vessel began its journey on June 12 to deliver livelihood assistance worth P5 million in Kalayaan, as per the news report. The vessel arrived in Puerto Princesa on June 16.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, ignoring an international ruling that asserts they have no legal basis, according to an ABS-CBN News report.
Recently, the Philippines accused China of causing a near-crash with a coast guard ship and pointing a military-grade laser at another vessel.
Earlier, in May, the Philippines placed five navigational buoys inside its 200-mile (322 km) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea to assert its sovereignty, according to the country’s coast guard, The Epoch Times reported.
The Philippine Coast Guard’s spokesperson on South China Sea issues, Commodore Jay Tarriela, said five buoys carrying the national flag were placed from May 10 to May 12 in five areas within the EEZ.
An exclusive economic zone, or EEZ is an area of the ocean, generally extending 200 nautical miles beyond a nation’s territorial sea, within which a coastal nation has jurisdiction over both living and nonliving resources.
Patag Island, Balagtas Reef, Kota Island, Panata Island, and Juan Felipe Reef are the five areas where the buoys have been placed, the report stated further. Tarriela, while sharing photos of the buoys in a post, tweeted “This move highlights the Philippines’ unwavering resolve to protect its maritime borders and resources and contribute to the safety of maritime trade.”
According to The Epoch Times, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has laid its claim to the majority of the South China Sea, citing the so-called “nine-dash line.” The CCP’s claim of sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea was annulled by a 2016 international arbitration ruling, reported The Epoch Times.
As the Philippines looks to further fortify its connections with the United States, China has been acting more aggressively in the South China Sea recently.
On 1 May , amidst the CCP’s intimidating tactics against the self-ruled island, the Philippines and the United States underlined the need for peace across the Taiwan Strait.
Source : Business World