Start United States USA — China China ‘Monster’ ship deeper into PH waters

China ‘Monster’ ship deeper into PH waters

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The Philippine Navy said the world’s largest coast guard ship, which belongs to China, sailed deep into the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea on Friday in what a US maritime security expert said was a move to “normalize” Chinese presence and jurisdiction in these waters.
Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, the Navy spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said the 165-meter China Coast Guard (CCG) ship with bow number 5901, nicknamed “The Monster,” was seen 93 kilometers (50 nautical miles) off Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, well within the country’s 370-kilometer EEZ.
Trinidad told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Navy’s 126th anniversary in Manila that there would be an “appropriate response” from the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea.
Without elaborating, he said the action would be taken “most likely” by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) since it was a CCG vessel that was involved
Ray Powell, the head of Project Myoushu (South China Sea) at the Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation at Stanford University, said in a post on X on Friday that the CCG’s monster ship was accompanied by a smaller CCG vessel.
“Over the past 24 hours, the world’s largest coast guard ship, the 165-meter China Coast Guard 5901, together with the 102-meter CCG 5203, conducted a brief intrusive patrol into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone west of Scarborough Shoal,” he said on Friday.
In a chart accompanying his post, the two ships sailed from a northeastern direction, crossing the western boundary of the Philippines’ EEZ toward Panatag, and later made a U-turn before reaching it.
China, according to Powell, conducts “intrusive patrols deep within the exclusive economic zones of neighboring countries to establish a continuous presence and gradually normalize Chinese jurisdiction over areas granted to its neighbors under international law.”
The appearance of China’s largest coast guard ship followed last week’s civilian-led convoy of four fishing boats that headed to Panatag, also known as Bajo de Masinloc, about 246 km west of Zambales, to deliver food supplies and fuel to Filipinos fishing in their traditional fishing ground and assert Philippine sovereign rights over its EEZ.

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