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125 to 146! Philippine Navy monitors more Chinese vessels in WPS

Photo from Google Maps
Vince Lopez

China increased its forces in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), deploying 146 vessels between June 4 to 10, the Philippine Navy said on Wednesday.

In an updated list, the Philippine Navy said they have observed more ships from China in various locations across the disputed international waters this past week.

Navy WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad earlier reported 125 Chinese vessels, which they monitored from May 28 to June 3. This marked a slight increase from the previous week’s count of 122.

The updated list includes 16 vessels from China Coast Guard (CCGVs), 22 from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and 108 ships from the China Maritime Militia (CMMVs).

The breakdown of the vessels across various strategic locations in the WPS is as follows:

  • Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) – 4 CCGVs and 29 CMMVs
  • Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) – 5 CCGVs, 8 PLAN ships, and 37 CMMVs
  • Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) – 1 CCGV, 1 PLAN ship, and 40 CMMVs
  • Kota Island (Loaita Island) – 1 CCGV, 1 PLAN ship
  • Likas Island (West York Island) – 1 PLAN ship
  • Lawak Island (Nanshan Island) – 1 CCGV, 5 PLAN ships, 2 CMMVs
  • Panata Island (Loaita Cay) – 2 PLAN ships
  • Sabina Shoal – 4 CCGVs, 4 PLAN ships

The Philippine Navy continues to monitor and report on these incursions. The surge in Chinese vessels highlights the increasing tension and the complexities of maritime security in the WPS.

The presence of Chinese ships in these disputed waters has been a point of contention between China and the Philippines, with Manila asserting its sovereignty in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and Beijing relentless in its expansionist agenda.

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