Philippines Files Another Diplomatic Protest against China for Disrupting Resupply Mission

On October 13, Chinese Coast Guard allegedly attempted to disrupt Philippines’ resupply mission.
  • Bureau
  • 07:25 AM, October 17, 2023
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Philippines Files Another Diplomatic Protest against China for Disrupting Resupply Mission
BRP Benguet @Philippine Navy

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has announced its anticipation of filing another diplomatic protest against China following an incident in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

On Tuesday, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar informed CNN Philippines about their submission of a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding the incident.

The AFP's protest relates to an attempt by the Chinese Coast Guard to disrupt a resupply mission on October 13, involving the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Benguet (LS-507). This marked the first instance in which the Chinese Coast Guard attempted to cross the bow of a Filipino vessel engaged in a routine rotation and resupply (RORE) mission at Rizal Reef.

Aguilar explained that while there have been previous instances of harassment and shadowing operations, this was the first time the Chinese Coast Guard attempted to cross the path of the naval vessel LS-507, signifying an escalation of their activities concerning RORE missions in the Rizal Reef area.

During the incident, the AFP reported that the BRP Benguet issued consecutive radio warnings to the People's Liberation Army Navy Ship 621 (PLAN 621), which had been shadowing the Filipino vessel at an 80-yard distance and attempted to cross its bow with a closest point of approach of 350 yards. This occurred while the vessels were 5.8 nautical miles southwest of Pag-asa Island.

Aguilar deemed the maneuver as dangerously close, emphasizing the risk it posed. He further speculated that the Chinese vessel may have altered its course after warnings from the Navy personnel and upon realizing that their actions were being recorded.

AFP Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. has urged China to cease such dangerous maneuvers and aggressive actions directed towards Philippine vessels. He stressed the need for Beijing to adhere to maritime safety standards to prevent potential collisions and accidents at sea.

The incident underscores the ongoing tensions and concerns in the West Philippine Sea region, where territorial disputes have led to numerous diplomatic protests and security issues.

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