Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chinese ships still near Ayungin Shoal - AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 28): Chinese ships still near Ayungin Shoal - AFP

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on Wednesday said that Chinese ships are still being detected near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Reef).

The latter is located 120 nautical miles from Rizal, Palawan.

“We continue to maintain a detachment at the Ayungin Shoal, and we also observed continuous presence of the Chinese Maritime Surveillance ships in the vicinity of the shoal, ranging from two to five miles away," the AFP chief said.

The Philippine presence there is maintained by a Marine force based at the grounded transport, the BRP Sierra Madre.

Aside from Chinese Maritime Surveillance ships, Bautista said People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels are also seen in the area, along with Chinese fishing boats that have been seen fishing near shoal.

“There was an instance when Chinese fishing boats were also seen there as you mentioned, harvesting clams, our giant clams, inside the shoal,” he stated.

“Filipino fishing vessels also once in a while, visit the shoal.”

The AFP admitted that China has already occupied or has maintained its continuous presence in three islands that the Philippines claimed in the West Philippine Sea, and these are the Mischief Reef, Scarborough Shoal and Ayungin.

In Mischief Reef, China has already built structures and a garrison that could house its vessels and its forces.

Bautista said that the Philippines has occupied at least nine islands in the West Philippine Sea, while the others are occupied by other claimants that include China and Vietnam.

Aside from the three reefs, China has occupied at least six islands or atolls in the Kalayaan Island Group.

These are Kenon Reef, Quarteron Reef, Fairy Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson Reef and Subi or Zamora Reef.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.