‘World’s Largest’ China Coast Guard Ship Intrudes PH Waters

China Coast Guard Ship

A recent incursion into Philippine waters by what’s been dubbed the “world’s largest” coast guard ship, the 165-meter China Coast Guard vessel with bow number 5901, has sparked concern and garnered attention from maritime security experts and officials.

Here are some details from the report of ABS-CBN News.

Incursion at Panatag Shoal

According to former United States Air Force official and maritime security expert Ray Powell, the intrusive patrol occurred at Panatag Shoal, also known as Scarborough Shoal. Powell noted that the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel was accompanied by another CCG ship during the incident.

Powell emphasized that such actions are part of China’s strategy to assert its jurisdiction over areas within the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of neighboring countries. By conducting intrusive patrols, China aims to establish a continuous presence and normalize its control over territories granted to neighboring nations under international law.

Philippine Response

In response to the incident, Philippine Navy spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, stated that the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) would handle the situation. Trinidad assured that an appropriate response would be forthcoming from the NTF and the Philippine Coast Guard.

Amidst these developments, reports surfaced regarding a pipe installation allegedly carried out within Panatag Shoal. However, the Philippine Navy considers these reports unverified and unsubstantiated. Mark Figueras, team leader of the “Atin Ito” convoy’s advance boat, initially revealed the presence of the pipe installation, but further corroboration is necessary to confirm its authenticity.

Ongoing Monitoring

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pipe installation report, the Philippine Navy remains vigilant and continues to monitor the situation closely. As tensions persist in the West Philippine Sea, efforts to uphold maritime security and sovereignty remain paramount for the Philippines.

As the international community observes these developments, questions arise about China’s intentions and the potential ramifications for regional stability. In the face of escalating maritime tensions, diplomatic channels and multilateral cooperation are crucial for resolving disputes and maintaining peace in the region.

Read Also: Filipino Seafarers Targeted in Houthi Attack: 2 Killed, 2 Critical


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