PHL ‘firing off diplomatic protest’ on sailing of Chinese research vessels in EEZ

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is firing off a diplomatic protest after National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that he likes the Philippine government to ask the Chinese embassy regarding the reported sailing of Chinese research vessels within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Okay, got it, General. @DFAPHL firing off diplomatic protest,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a Twitter post.

“The action I would like our government to do, if its true, is to inform or ask the Chinese Embassy what these ships are doing in our EEZ without our knowledge,” Secretary Lorenzana said in interview with ANC’s Headstart.

Secretary Lorenzana said that “as far I’m concerned” the Chinese research vessels did not give prior information.

He added that “nobody is prevented from doing their research” as long as the Philippines knows what they are doing.

“If the intention is only to study the sea or the fish, marine life there, then it is not a security threat. But if they’re doing other things like making reconnaissance or surveillance of our positions, then it’s a threat,” Secretary Lorenzana said.