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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Philippine Navy spots over 120 China vessels along WPS

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The Philippine Navy has reported a notable increase in Chinese maritime activity in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), with 125 Chinese vessels observed from May 28 to June 3, marking a slight uptick from the previous week’s count of 122 ships.

Navy spokesperson for the WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad released an advisory Tuesday evening that the Chinese fleet comprises a diverse array of vessels: nine China Coast Guard Vessels (CCGVs), 11 ships from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and a significant contingent of 105 China Maritime Militia Vessels (CMMVs).

The breakdown of the vessels across various strategic locations in the WPS is as follows:

·   Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) – 3 CCGVs and 15 CMMVs

·  Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) – 4 CCGVs, 2 PLAN ships, and 26 CMMVs

·  Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) – 1 CCGV, 2 PLAN ships, and 33 CMMVs

·  Parola Island (Northeast Cay) – 1 CMMV

·  Likas Island (West York Island) – 1 CMMV

·  Lawak Island (Nanshan Island) – 1 PLAN ship

·  Panata Island (Loaita Cay) – 4 CMMVs

·  Patag Island (Flat Island) -2 CMMVs

·  Sabina Shoal -1 CCGV, 6 PLAN ships, and 23 CMMVs

The Philippine Navy continues to monitor and report on these incursions. The surge in Chinese vessels highlights the increasing tension and the complexities of maritime security in the WPS.

The presence of Chinese ships in these disputed waters has been a point of contention between China and the Philippines, with Manila asserting its sovereignty in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and Beijing relentless in its expansionist agenda.

Commodore Trinidad emphasized the importance of vigilance and the need for continued maritime patrols to safeguard the Philippines’ sovereign rights and interests in the WPS.

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