Chinese coast guard vessel spotted near the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island (Thitu) in the Spratlys, where it stayed for several days. While Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the country attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and has studiously avoided bringing up the West Philippine Sea dispute.

It was anchored four miles southwest from the shore and stayed there for nine days. This is according to Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr.

Mayor Bito-onon

Mayor Bito-onon said, “It suddenly showed up on November 9 a few hours after our ship arrived in the morning, it’s the first time a Chinese ship stayed for so long in our area.” It also shadowed our supply ship, the MV Queen Seagull which is used to ferry our supplies from Puerto Princesa to the Pag-asa island.

The Chinese ship at long last left at around early afternoon of Nov. 17 and the island’s administrator was able to take photos.

A Chinese coast guard ship with bow number 2305 is the one regularly bother and harass the Filipino fishermen. “These kinds of coast guard ships are those that harass us in Ayungin Shoal,” Mayor Bito-onon said.

Soon in the future after the Chinese finish their reclamation and construction activities in adjacent Subi Reef. The residents in the island are expecting more encounters like this one. Mayor added.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama has repeatedly raised concerns over Beijing’s activities in the region. He reassures the Philippines and other Southeast Asian allies that the United States will continue patrol in the disputed region since it does not recognize the sovereignty of the Chinese claims.– Carl E.

Images credited to globalnation.inquirer.net, interaksyon.com
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