Chinese survey ship 'Zhang Jian' spotted in Philippine waters

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Chinese survey ship 'Zhang Jian' spotted in Philippine waters
Chinese oceanographic research vessel Zhang Jian was recently located operating in Philippine waters.

MANILA, Philippines — A Chinese oceanographic survey ship was recently detected passing through the eastern part of the Philippines.

Ryan Martinson, assistant professor at China Maritime Studies Institute, posted on Twitter that the Chinese research vessel "Zhang Jian" operated just 80 nautical miles from the country's east coast.

Martinson posted a map with a track of the Chinese research ship, showing that it came from the Philippine sea before heading down south.

Data from ship tracking intelligence MarineTraffic confirmed that Zhang Jian was in the area of the Philippines on August 5.

Previous reports from Chinese state-run Xinhua indicated that Zhang Jian has been used for carrying out deep-sea explorations in the South China Sea.

Data from ship tracking intelligence MarineTraffic shows Chinese oceanographic survey ship Zhang Jian in the east coast of the Philippines on Aug. 5, 2019.

Latest data from MarineTraffic show that the Chinese survey ship is in the waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea as of August 6.

MarineTraffic uses the automatic identification system of ships to provide real-time information on their movement and location.

Last year, the Chinese research vessel "Kexue" was located in the country's territorial waters at least twice.

In January 2018, Beijing deployed Kexue to conduct marine exploration in Philippine waters, including the Philippine or Benham Rise.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the halt of foreign marine science research in the Philippine Rise in February last year but the Chinese ship had already finished its activity in the area by then.

Kexue was again spotted less than 20 nautical miles off the coast of Mindanao in October 2018.

Martinson also posted about this activity of Kexue last year, noting that the Chinese survey ship was probably deploying or recovering instruments moored to the seafloor.




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