Chinese coast guard vessel spotted steaming near Ayungin

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According to US Naval War College (USNWC) China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) assistant professor Ryan Martinson, while the Philippines is accommodating Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) delegation headed by CCG Director General Major General Wang Zhongcai, a Chinese vessel (Zhongguohaijing 5402) is steaming back and forth Ayungin Shoal.

Ayungin Shoal is where Philippine Navy’s BRP Sierre Madre (LT-57) is grounded as detachment for members of Philippine Marines.

“The Philippines rolls out the red carpet for the Commander of the China Coast Guard. Meanwhile, a China Coast Guard ship steams back and forth, menacing Philippine Marines posted at Second Thomas Shoal,” Martinson said in a Twitter post.

On January 14, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officially welcomed CCG vessel 5204.

“PCG and CCG will discuss about communication protocols, search and rescue (SAR), and the possibility of conducting joint exercises on maritime security. There will also be an exchange of best practices on maritime affairs and law enforcement,” PCG said.

“This is the first time in history that the PCG and CCG formally sit down and talk to enhance relationship and establish smooth coordination in relation to maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, maritime safety, marine environmental protection, and maritime security in compliance to the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the PCG to develop strong diplomatic relations with CCG,” PCG chief Admiral Joel S. Garcia said.