Sunday, March 21, 2021

"Philippines protests hundreds of Chinese ships swarming West Philippine Sea reef"

 China just keeps pushing and pushing.

From the Philippines Star, March 22:

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines lodged a diplomatic protest following a report that around 220 Chinese militia ships have been moored near a reef in the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday night said he fired off a protest over the presence of Chinese vessels at the Julian Felipe Reef (Whitsun Reef) in the West Philippine Sea.

The coral reef, which is well within the country's EEZ and continental shelf, is located northeast of Pagkakaisa Banks and Reefs (Union Reefs) approximately 175 nautical miles west of Bataraza, Palawan....

....MUCH MORE, it's a pretty big incursion 

Although the ships in question are putatively militia, China also has Coast Guard vessels that are larger than U.S. guided missile cruisers:  

"Beijing Builds ‘Monster’ Ship for Patrolling the South China Sea"

From The Diplomat:

According to Chinese state media, the ship will be the largest coast guard vessel in the world.

China has finished construction on a second 10,000-ton China Coast Guard (CCG) cutter destined for patrols in the South China Sea, Chinese state media reports. The ship, designated CCG 3901, “has been completed recently and is ready to start protecting China’s maritime rights,” The Global Times announced. A sister ship, the CCG2901, already deployed to the East China Sea in 2015.