China has been requested by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday to help the country fight the Islamic State-linked militants by sending ships to patrol on the southern waters to prevent “Abu Sayyaf” from abducting sailors and attacking private and commercial vessels.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte said. “I also asked China if they can patrol the international waters without necessarily intruding into the territorial waters of countries.”

Duterte said, “We would be glad if we have their presence.”

He said Beijing could deploy its coast guard cutters, not its “gray ships” or naval assets,  just to patrol, like what they did in Somalia,” he continued. It could be recalled that Beijing sent a naval convoy to the Gulf of Aden in 2009 to protect Chinese ships from Somali pirates.

He said that Beijing could help safeguard trade routes in Southeast Asia, especially in the Malacca Strait and the Sulu Sea.

Chinese Coast Guard Ships image by

He made the statement following reports that some international cargo ships have opted to look for other sea routes despite added expense.

He explained that it could increase prices of goods and companies could pay higher insurance rates once such trade routes are blocked and shifted.

The Muslim rebel group sustained by piracy and kidnap-for-ransom activities started abducting several dozens of hostages from Indonesian and Malaysian tug boats and South Korean and Vietnamese merchant ships last year. Therefore the Philippines together with Malaysia and Indonesia has agreed to patrol in the Sulu and the Celebes Sea, prevent and crack down the Muslim kidnapping group “Abu Sayyaf”.

Philippines’ Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that such cooperation is probably going to extend to include Brunei and Singapore, including that the nation has additionally increased and intensified land operations to chase down the Abu Sayyaf in six months. – JCE.