Chinese carrier may have passed with AIS turned off at night: defense chief

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source on July 29 that there were four instances when the military unit assigned in Sibutu Strait monitored Chinese PLA Navy warships passing.

Secretary Lorenzana added that the Chinese warships passed with their automatic identification system (AIS) turned off. The Chinese warships were seen using naked eye.

Secretary Lorenzana also said that the military unit did not see the passage of Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.

He said that the Chinese aircraft carrier may have passed during night. “Since they did not open their AIS, our radar cannot detect them nor can our watchers see them because it’s dark,” he said.

He added that the passing of warships without prior notice is not a criminal violation, “but it is a failure to observe common courtesy.”