Chinese surveillance ships engaged with Philippine largest naval vessel

2012-04-12 (China Military News cited from CNN) — The Philippines said Wednesday that its largest naval vessel is engaged in a standoff with two Chinese maritime surveillance ships in a remote lagoon in the South China Sea.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said the country’s navy had sent the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a 378-foot cutter, to the area of Scarborough Shoal on Sunday after surveillance aircraft spotted eight Chinese fishing boats anchored inside the lagoon.

Chinese surveillance ship

Chinese surveillance ship

China and the Philippines both claim that Scarborough Shoal, about 200 kilometers west of the Philippine mainland, is “an integral part” of their territory.

A boarding team from the Gregorio del Pilar went to inspect the Chinese fishing boats Tuesday morning and found “large amounts of illegally collected corals, giant clams and live sharks” inside one of the boats, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Later Tuesday, the Gregorio del Pilar reported that the two Chinese surveillance ships had arrived and taken up a position at the mouth of the lagoon, blocking the way to the fishing boats and “preventing the arrest” of the fishermen. The situation remained the same Wednesday morning, the Philippine statement said.

The Philippine foreign minister, Albert Del Rosario, is seeking a “diplomatic solution” to the situation with China, the statement said.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila has complained to the Philippine authorities about “the harassment of Chinese fishermen,” China’s official news agency reported Wednesday.


  1. The Philippine Navy followed strict rules of engagement. Documented the illegal haul such as giant clams, rare corals, etc. But the Philippine Coast Guard has now taken over the ex-Hamilton. China now has 3 ships to protect the poachers.

  2. im all for stopping illegal poaching by chinese, viets n “taiwanese” . BUT in reality , those from TW are being left alone by both our CG n Navy. A GMA News rpt revealed this anomaly, when they interviewed a local fisherman from da coastal area. AND, yes. they are protecting poachers, due to geopolitics and noting more. Unlike, the disputes in Kalayaan, wherein, even ROC n MAS held territories, w/c they claim r rightfully theirs.

  3. China is being very courteous and considerate by using only CMS and Fisheries Administration ships in the South China Sea, and not any of the 75 guided missile armed destroyers and frigates.

    Chinese fishermen has been harvesting fish and marine life for 2000 years in these waters. Her claim based on historical use is undisputable.

  4. Chinese is a signator on UNCLOS. Per UNCLOS formations that cannot sustain human habitation can not be used as a basis for claiming territory, so no one owns Scarborough Reef. It is not sovereign territory of any country, but it does fall inside the Philippine’s Exclusive Economic Zone, so they can impose fisheries regulations.

  5. I don’t think fishing is a problem. The problem is the illegal fishing. Don’t you know that the previous Chinese fishermen who were caught with six rare dead green sea turtles are still in the Philippines? 20 Vietnamese fishermen were just caught before this incident but have posted bail and released. The Chinese fishermen refuse to acknowledge and the Justice department wouldn’t release them until there was accountability. Chinese fishermen need to respect laws and they need to stop killing the endangered species.
    I believe the resources could be shared by the two countries but the fishermen sometimes does more than what they have to do or they have other motives. It is not just a territorial issue but also environmental which chinese fishermen always break and are now being protected by China Maritime Surveillance.

  6. If China fishing the West Philippine sea for 2000 years, why fish still abundant in the area? Chinese people don’t fool the world by your Antics. We know what kind of race you are. CHINA is the counterfeit capital of the world.They can’t make their own, they like stealing foreign inventions.

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