ARMED CHINESE SHIPS CHASE FILIPINO CIVILIAN VESSEL IN CHALLENGED WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Written by Mart Shalom E. Bernales
Armed Chinese Ships Chase Filipino Civilian Vessel in Challenged West Philippine Sea. The Republic of the Philippines, along with its ally the United States of America, have expressed concerns about the increasingly aggressive acts of China in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea following the reports on Thursday, April 8, that armed Chinese ships have chased away a Filipino civilian vessel from the disputed territory.
The said Filipino vessel has a local television and radio station crew, particularly ABS-CBN, onboard when the incident took place.
A broadcaster from the crew claims that China’s People Liberation Army Navy deployed two armed vessels carrying missiles to drive their vessel away as they sail across reefs and shoals in the West Philippine Sea, specifically near the Palawan province.
The report claimed that the Filipino ship was radioed by a Chinese vessel. It then got pursued for more or less than an hour, “getting so close that bow number 5101 was visible to the naked eye, sometimes sailing beside the Filipino vessel on either side.” After the initial ship turned away, two Huobei-class missile boats showed up to continue the Filipino vessel’s pursuance and driving away.
The actions of China in the territory were claimed the first military maneuvers against a civilian craft.
Meanwhile, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana spoke with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin over the phone on Sunday, discussing the rift issues in the troubled Philippine waters.
The U.S. shares with the Philippines the belief that China’s territory as their own rightfully and lawfully belongs to the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines.
Anthony Blinken, U.S. State Secretary, reaffirms that the Biden Administration supports the Philippines and is ready to activate the mutual defense treaty between them and the Philippines.
The Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. also announced on April 7 that the Philippines would file a barrage of protests until the foreign vessels vacate the Julian Felipe Reef as the officials issued bold statements about the issue. However, the vessels still would not leave the area.