Philippine patrol ships to monitor China navy presence

2013-03-22 02:59:42 GMT2013-03-22 10:59:42(Beijing Time)

Philippine naval security forces are set to conduct “sovereignty patrols” in the South China Sea to check on possible "intrusions" by Chinese vessels conducting naval exercises within the country’s maritime boundaries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said Thursday the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard were sailing to waters in disputed areas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf to check on the presence of Chinese navy ships.

The Philippines and China are locked in a standoff over Huangyan Island since April.

A fleet of Chinese vessels has reportedly deployed for drills on “actual combat” scenarios in the South China Sea.

The Philippines has a pending case for arbitration against China in the United Nations arbitral tribunal. The legal action also seeks to invalidate China’s nine-dash line claim.

China has rejected the arbitration plea.

“Our Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard [were] asked to verify [if there were] reported intrusions,” Hernandez said.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported earlier this week that four Chinese warships—equipped with four helicopters and a hovercraft—deployed off southern China’s Hainan province for training exercises in the South China Sea.

Xinhua said the warships would undertake training exercises that include “command post establishment, operational maneuvering from the sea and high sea convoy missions.”


Editor: Mei Jingya
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