Tuesday, May 28, 2024

China warships violated NOTAM during PH-US-France WPS exercise —Balikatan exec

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The Chinese warships spotted during the maritime exercise of the naval forces of the Philippines, United States, and France in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) have violated the notice to mariners (NOTAM), a Balikatan official said.

In a press conference, Balikatan executive agent Colonel Michael Logico said a report on the incident will be sent to the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) for possible diplomatic response.

“May na-violate sila syempre (Of course, they violated it),” Logico said when asked if the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) violated NOTAM with their presence.

He said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) approved the NOTAM, which was requested by the Balikatan organizers to ensure safety during the conduct of the maritime activity including a gunnery exercise.

“That NOTAM is for their safety because we are also conducting gunnery exercises in the area. So for them to enter into our training area knowing fully well that we are conducting these types of activities, it was a big risk on their part for them to do that,” Logico said.

Chinese PLAN Navy vessels with bow numbers 167 and 793 were seen during the conduct of the exercises, according to Logico.

The Philippines and the US on April 22 officially started their annual joint military exercise or Balikatan for this year.

As part of the Balikatan, the navies of the Philippines, US, and France conducted their first multilateral maritime exercise from April 25 to 29.

The participants joined a surface gun exercise (GUNNEX) for their live-fire capabilities and communication skills.—AOL, GMA Integrated News

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