Chinese embassy denies ‘forceful seizure’ of rocket part near Pag-asa Island

The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines on Monday denied using force to retrieve of a rocket part that landed in Philippine waters, insisting the handover took place after “friendly consultation”.
In a statement, the embassy said a China Coast Guard ship found an unidentified floating object in the waters off the Spratly Islands morning of Nov. 20.
The said object was later identified as a part of recently launched rocket by China.
“Before the China Coast Guard found the said floating object some Philippine Navy personnel already retrieved and towed it,” the embassy said, adding that it was able to retrieve the rocket part after a “friendly consultation” with the Philippine side.
“The Chinese side expressed gratitude to the Philippine side. There was no so-called blocking of the course of a Philippine Navy boat and forcefully retrieving the object at the scene,” it added.
A senior Filipino navy official earlier accused the Chinese coastguard of “forcefully” seizing parts the rocket that landed near Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea.
A Chinese coastguard vessel “blocked” a Filipino rubber boat towing the “unidentified floating object”, Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said.
Carlos made the allegation as US Vice-President Kamala Harris began a three-day visit to the Philippines aimed at boosting ties and countering China’s growing clout in the region.

RELATED: China accused of seizing rocket debris from Philippines navy in South China Sea dispute

Coast guard cut towing cable the Phillipines navy was using, say military officials, as Kamala Harris makes visit to Manila
China’s coast guard forcibly seized the suspected debris of a Chinese rocket that the Philippine navy was towing to its island in the South China Sea, Philippines military officials have said, in the latest confrontation in the disputed sea.
The Chinese vessel twice blocked the Philippine naval boat before seizing the floating debris it was towing on Sunday off Philippine-occupied Thitu island, Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said on Monday. He said no one was injured in the incident.
The incident occurred just hours before US vice-president Kamala Harris arrived in the Philippines for talks with president Ferdinand Marcos Jr, where the leaders are expected to discuss the strengthening of their security alliance. Speaking ahead of their meeting on Monday, Harris said the US had an “unwavering commitment” to defending international rules and norms in the South China Sea.

RELATED: PH Space Agency confirms Chinese rocket debris found off Mamburao coast

Metro Manila — The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) confirmed Wednesday that the torn metal sheet bearing a portion of China’s flag found in waters off Occidental Mindoro was part of the Chinese rocket launched on July 24.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) retrieved the material, which has markings of the Long March 5B (CZ-5B) rocket, from fishermen who discovered it some 160 kilometers off Mamburao.
“The debris retrieved by PCG Mamburao was identified to be part of the CZ-5B’s payload fairing, which detaches from the rocket as it enters outer space during launch,” PhilSA explained. “These discarded rocket stages are usually designed and planned to shed over specific drop zones.”

RELATED VIDEO: PH military says Chinese coast guard forcefully retrieved unidentified object off Pag-Asa Island


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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