Tuesday, May 21, 2024

China ship shadows PH, US vessels at WPS during Balikatan exercise

Must read

A Chinese Navy ship was seen shadowing vessels of the Philippines and United States Navies at the West Philippine Sea during the Balikatan exercises.

According to a 24 Oras Weekend report by Ian Cruz on Saturday, a surveillance vessel from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy was seen when exercises were taking place 50 nautical miles west of Northern Palawan beginning at 6 a.m.

The Chinese ship with the bow number 793 shadowed US and Philippine vessels from 3 nautical miles away.

Despite its presence, the exercise continued as America’s USS Harpers Ferry and the Philippines’ BRP Davao del Sur and BRP Ramon Alcaraz continued their multilateral maritime exercises, which involved helicopter cross deck landings.

A Philippine Air Force plane also flew over the Philippine and US Navy ships, as well as over the Chinese vessel.

“Sa na-monitor natin, may mga movements sila and we can consider na nagsasagawa sila ng shadowing operations,” said BRP Davao del Sur Commanding Officer CDR Marco Sandalo.

(From what we’ve monitored and their movements, we can consider that they are conducting shadowing operations.)

The Chinese vessel was reportedly within the specified operation box of the multilateral maritime exercise and constantly changed locations, but did not issue a radio challenge.

“We were not threatened by their presence. We were able to conduct successfully yung ating activity without any accidents or mishaps. Lahat natuto sa ganitong activity… We will be providing radio challenges kapag nakita namin na they will impede, obstruct and especially affect yung safety of navigation ng ating exercise,” said Sandalo.

(We were not threatened by their presence. We were able to successfully conduct activities without any accidents or mishaps. All of us learn from this activity… We will be providing radio challenges if we see that they will impede, obstruct, and especially affect the safety of navigation of our exercise)

On the second day of the cross deck landings, the Chinese navy reportedly continued to observe the exercises.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Marines and US Marine Corps conducted an air assault exercise in Balabac Island, Palawan to showcase quick deployment and cooperation during sensitive military operations. —Jiselle Casucian/DVM, GMA Integrated News

Latest article