China Coast Guard ships tail, surround PH vessels near Recto Bank

Published April 6, 2024

China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels on Thursday tailed and surrounded Philippine ships on the way to Recto Bank for fishing activities.

According to a GMA Integrated News Bulletin report on Saturday, two China ships first followed BRP Lapu-Lapu, which escorted Filipino fishermen traveling to the Recto Bank, which is located 80 nautical miles off Palawan.

CCG vessels meanwhile surrounded the Filipino fisherfolk’s boats, and allegedly performed dangerous maneuvers.

Despite this, Filipino fishermen successfully installed bamboo rafts used in fishing at the guyot.

GMA News Online contacted the Chinese Embassy to get their statement about the incident but has yet to receive a reply.

It can be recalled that in June 2019, Chinese fishing vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 rammed the Gem-Ver (Gem-Vir) which was stationed at Recto Bank.



RELATED: Philippines flags ‘harassment’ by Chinese vessels ahead of Japan, US drills

Recent clashes between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea have raised concerns of a maritime escalation.

A Philippine Coast Guard worker watches while conducting a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed at a grounded warship in an area of the South China Sea under its exclusive economic zone [File: Adrian Portugal/Reuters]
Published April 6, 2024

The Philippines has said that two Chinese coastguard ships “harassed” Filipino fishing vessels within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the disputed South China Sea, ahead of joint military drills with its allies.

The coastguard vessels “went as far as pretending to man their water cannon and threatening the Filipino fishermen” in the Iroquois reef on April 4, Jay Tarriela, spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard posted on X on Saturday.

“This aggressive action stems from China’s greed and unfounded claim that these waters belong to them based on their imaginary dashed line,” Tarriela wrote in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from China, which claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea.

“It is important to note that Rozul Reef falls within the Philippines’ EEZ since it is located at approximately 128 nautical miles away from Palawan,” Tarriela added, referring to the reef by its Filipino name. The Philippines also refers to the area of the South China Sea within its EEZ as the West Philippine Sea.



RELATED: Año: No ‘gentleman’s deal’ with China on WPS; PH to defend territory

Published April 6,  2024

MANILA – National Security Adviser Eduardo Año denied Thursday that a “gentleman’s agreement” had been struck between the Philippines and China on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) under the watch of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

Año, a former chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the Duterte administration, said there is no proof of the Philippines’ alleged deal with China to keep the status quo in the WPS.

“The Chinese have always talked about the gentleman’s agreement pero (but) they cannot show anything na mayroon talaga (there really is), even a document, or even identify somebody who said that we particularly entered into that gentleman’s agreement,” he said in an interview with Palace reporters.

Año issued the statement, after former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that Duterte reportedly had a verbal agreement with China not to construct and repair Philippine facilities in the WPS, including the sending of construction materials for BRP Sierra Madre (LS-57).

Roque said the agreement does not cover the towing or removal of the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal.





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