Another Chinese ship seen operating in Philippine waters
China's silent research vessel Dong Fang Hong 3 was located operating in Philippine waters, days after Chinese survey ship Zhang Jian was also seen in the country's east coast.
Another Chinese ship seen operating in Philippine waters
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - August 8, 2019 - 10:31am

MANILA, Philippines — Another Chinese oceanographic survey ship has been seen operating in the northern part of the Philippines, a US think tank says. .

Ryan Martinson, assistant professor at China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College, tweeted photos of the track of Chinese survey ship Dong Fang Hong 3 in northern Luzon.

This came days after Chinese survey ship Zhang Jian was also located operating about 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines.

Martinson noted that the operation of the Chinese research vessel in Philippine exclusive economic zone would require the permission of the government.

Data obtained from ship tracking intelligence MarineTraffic showed that Dong Fang Hong 3 was in Philippine waters as of August 7.

Dong Fang Hong 3 is China's first research vessel to obtain a Silent-R certificate, the highest standard for underwater noise control, according to a report from Chinese state-run Xinhua.

Data from ship tracking intelligence MarineTraffic shows Chinese oceanographic survey ship Dong Fang Hong 3 in the waters of northern Luzon in the West Philippine Sea on Aug. 7, 2019.

In previous tweets, Martinson also noted that the Zhang Jian started operating in Philippine waters since August 3.

Based on the track of the Chinese survey ship, Martinson said it is conducting marine scientific research and might be placing or recovering instruments in the area.

Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Institute, responded to Martinson's tweet to confirm if the China's research in the area could be used for future submarine operations, which the latter confirmed.

RELATED: Philippines not informed of Chinese warship sail-by in Tawi-Tawi

DFA to rely on Philippine military info

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., on the other hand, said he would only rely on the Philippine military to confirm such reports.

"Because of the prevalence and proclivity of civilians to lie about anything, Philippine foreign affairs in my watch is the fist in the iron glove of the Armed Forces and relies only on military info and recommendations," Locsin tweeted Wednesday.

The Philippines' top diplomat tweeted this in response to a netizen who commented on Martinson's post about the location of Zhang Jian in the east coast of the country.

RELATED: Defense chief: Chinese envoy denies aircraft carrier sailed past Tawi-Tawi

Martinson has been monitoring the movement of Chinese ships in the disputed South China Sea, including the recent operation of a Chinese survey ship near a Vietnamese-controlled reef in the Spratly Islands.

Vietnam had called for China's "immediate withdrawal" of the Chinese research ship in the South China Sea. A Chinese coast guard vessel was also spotted near Vietnamese supply ships prior to this incident.

"Vietnam has had several appropriate diplomatic exchanges... requesting immediate withdrawal from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone," Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang earlier said.

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