Chinese oceanographic survey ship Zhang Jian was recently located operating in the east coast of the Philippines.
Twitter/Ryan Martinson
Philippines to fire off diplomatic protest over Chinese survey ships, warships
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - August 9, 2019 - 11:06am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' top diplomat confirmed that the Department of Foreign Affairs will be protesting the presence of Chinese survey ships in Philippine waters.

"Okay, got it, General. [DFA] firing off diplomatic protest," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted in response to the remarks of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana urged the Philippine government to ask the Beijing why Chinese research vessels and warships are entering Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The Defense chief, however, admitted that the Philippine military has yet to confirm the presence of Chinese survey ships in the country's EEZ.

Ryan Martinson, assistant professor at China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval College, tweeted photos of two Chinese oceanographic survey ships located operating in Philippine waters.

The first one was Zhang Jian spotted 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines, which started operating there since August 3.

Chinese research ship Dong Fang Hong 3 was also detected in northern Luzon on August 7.

"We're to confirm this on our own especially in the east fronting Pacific Ocean because we do not have any radar equipment there to monitor the area," Lorenzana said, adding that the military's radars cannot also detect the supposed Chinese ship in Ilocos Norte in the West Philippine Sea.

Lorenzana earlier confirmed that Chinese warships passed through the Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi at least four times from February to July.

The DND chief stressed that China should inform the Philippines what its ships are doing in the country's EEZ.

"If their intention is only to study the area or the fish or whatever the marine life there, then it is not a security threat but if they are doing other things like making reconnaissance or surveillance of our positions then it's a threat," Lorenzana said.

CHINA DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DIPLOMATIC PROTEST PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES SOUTH CHINA SEA TEODORO LOCSIN JR. WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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