Skip to main content

Chinese ships spotted near Pag-asa Island sandbars, says Alejano

The ships were monitored on September 18, says opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano

Bea Cupin


Published 4:12 PM, October 03, 2017

Updated 4:12 PM, October 03, 2017

CHINESE ACTIVITY. Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, a former soldier, says Chinese vessels were spotted near Pag-asa island and its sandbars. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano on Tuesday, October 3, raised the alarm over the continuing “concern and tensions in Pag-asa Island and its 3 sandbars.”

In a statement, Alejano said he received information that “3 vessels of Chinese maritime militia and a ship of the People’s Liberation Army Navy” were found between one to 5 nautical miles from the sandbars. He said this was monitored on September 18 but the information reached him two weeks later, on Tuesday.

“Chinese forces are employing new tactics. They are harassing our patrolling vessels by continuously sounding their sirens to signify their opposition to our vessels visiting or patrolling the sandbars,” he said. (READ: Duterte: Why should I defend West PH Sea sandbar?)

Alejano noted that the presence of Chinese ships was not very surprising since Subi Reef, which China reclaimed, is near the sandbars.

“The sandbars lie within 12 nautical miles of both Subi Reef and Pag-asa Island. However, the difference is that Subi Reef was once a low-tide elevation and was only later on reclaimed by China. Following the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Subi Reef cannot generate territorial waters neither a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) because it is a low-tide elevation feature. Meanwhile, the Pag-asa Island is the second largest island among the Spratly Group and is a high-tide elevation feature,” said the opposition lawmaker.

Pag-asa island is occupied by around 100 Filipinos. (READ: Alejano: Does PH have 'strategy of silence' in West Philippine Sea?)

This is not the first time that Alejano, citing sources, reported on China's activities in the West Philippine Sea, where the Philippines, China, and other countries, have overlapping claims. China is claiming practically the entire area.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had downplayed Alejano’s earlier announcements. In mid-August, Alejano said 5 Chinese shipswere spotted near the sandbars. The Chinese also reportedly barred a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ship in the area.

In late August, Alejano said a Chinese flag had been planted near a Philippine-controlled island. (READ: Malacañang says no more Chinese flag near Kota Island)

Under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, relations with China have warmed. Duterte has adopted an "independent" foreign policy” which so far, has meant distancing from traditional allies such as the United States and moving closer to countries like China and Russia


Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…