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Navy spots 122 Chinese vessels in WPS after Beijing’s fishing ban

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The Philippine Navy on Tuesday had observed the presence of 122 Chinese vessels along the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The vessels were spotted as China imposed its South China Sea (SCS) moratorium within the said area.

Based on the statement of Navy Spokesperson for the WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, the vessels seen along the different land features of the WPS from May 21-27 were as follows:

In Bajo de Masinloc, about five Chinese Coast Guard vessels (CCGVs), 14 Chinese maritime militia vessels (CMMVs); Ayungin Shoal, five CCGVs, 17 CMMVs; Pag-asa Island, 1 CCGV, 1 PLAN ship, 34 CMMVs; along Kota Island, one CMMV; Lawak Island, one CMMV; Panata Island, three CMMVs; Patag Island, two CCGVs, two CMMVs; and Sabina Shoal, two CCGVs, four PLAN ships, 30 CMMVs.

Trinidad emphasized that the Philippine Navy does not recognize the SCS moratorium being imposed by China, neither will it be deterred “in securing the welfare of Filipinos either on land or sea.”

Trinidad added that the number of patrols had been propped near Bajo de Masinloc and the northern islands. This is in accordance with the shift to external defense and the application of the Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept (CADC) of the Philippine military.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) remonstrated that China’s moratorium on fishing violates international law, and undercuts the country’s maritime and sovereign rights in the said areas.

According to the DFA statement, the moratorium, which runs from May 1 to September 16, covers maritime zones wherein the country has sovereign rights and legal jurisdiction.

The Philippines called on China to “cease and desist from the conduct of illegal actions”.


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