Chinese Coast Guard seizes missile wreckage from the Philippine Navy

Chinese Coast Guard seizes missile wreckage from the Philippine Navy

This photo from a C-130 transport plane with Chief of Defense Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Commander Gen. Eduardo Ano shows Thito Island off the South China Sea on April 21, 2017. A Chinese coast guard vessel blocked the Philippine naval boat twice before seizing it, the vice admiral said. Alberto Carlos Monday, November 21, 2022 The wreckage he was towing Sunday off Philippine occupied Thito Island.

A Philippine military commander said Monday that the Chinese coast guard has forcibly seized a floating wreck that the Philippine navy was towing to its island in another standoff in the disputed South China Sea. The wreckage appears to have been from a Chinese missile launch.

Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said Monday that the Chinese vessel twice intercepted the Philippine navy boat before catching the wreck it was towing Sunday off the Philippine-occupied Thito Island. He said that no one was hurt in the accident.

It is the latest outbreak in the long-running territorial disputes in the strategic waterway, which involve China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Chinese coast guard vessels have blocked Filipino supply boats carrying supplies to Philippine forces in disputed waters in the past, but seizing items in the possession of another country’s military was an even bolder act.

Carlos said Filipino sailors, using a long-range camera on Thito Island, spotted the wreckage drifting in strong waves near a sandbar 800 yards (540 meters) away. They set off in a boat, retrieve the floating object, and begin towing it to their island, using a rope attached to their boat.

As the Filipino sailors were returning to their island, Carlos said in a statement, “they noticed a Chinese coast guard vessel with bow number 5203 was approaching their position, and then blocked their previously planned course twice.”

A Chinese coast guard ship then deployed an inflatable boat with personnel who “forcibly retrieved the said floating object by cutting the towline attached to the Filipino seamen’s rubber boat”. Carlos said that the Filipino sailors decided to return to their island, without giving details of what happened.

Major Cheryl Tindog, a spokesman for the Army’s Western Command, said the floating metal object resembled a number of other pieces of Chinese missile debris that were recently found in Philippine waters. She added that the Filipino sailors did not resist the Nuba.

Chinese Coast Guard seizes missile wreckage from the Philippine Navy

In this photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, coast guard personnel carry debris, which the Philippine Space Agency said bore the markings of a Chinese Long March 5B (CZ-5B) rocket launched on July 24, after it was found in waters off Mamporao, Occidental Mindoro Province. , Philippines in August 2022. Metal debris from Chinese missile launches, some showing part of what appears to be the Chinese flag, has been found in Philippine waters in at least three other cases. Credit: Philippine Coast Guard via AP, File

“We exercise maximum tolerance in such a situation,” Tandug told reporters. “Since it was about something unknown and not a matter of life and death, our team decided to just go back.”

metal debris Chinese missile launches, some of which show part of what appears to be the Chinese flag, have been found in Philippine waters in at least three other cases.

Rockets launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on China’s Hainan Island in recent months carried construction materials and supplies to China. manned space station.

China has previously been criticized for allowing missile stages to land on the ground unattended. The Philippine Space Agency earlier this month pressured the Philippines to ratify UN treaties that provide a basis for compensation for damage caused by space debris to other countries, and NASA accused Beijing last year of “failing to meet responsible standards with regard to their space.” debrisAfter parts of a Chinese missile fell into the Indian Ocean.

The Philippine government has made several diplomatic protests against China over aggressive actions in the South China Sea, but did not immediately specify what action it would take after Sunday’s incident. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Manila usually waits for an official investigation report before filing a protest.

Theto Island, which Filipinos call Bagh Asa, hosts a Filipino fishing community and troops and is located near Sopi, one of seven disputed reefs in the maritime area that China has turned into missile-protected islands, including three with runways, security officials said. The Americans. Now say it’s like forward military bases.

The Philippines and other smaller countries in the disputed region, backed by the United States and other Western nations, have protested vehemently and raised concerns about China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the crowded waterway.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is visiting Manila, is scheduled to fly to the western province of Palawan, which faces the South China Sea, on Tuesday to reaffirm US support for the Philippines and to renew the US commitment to defending its longtime treaty ally if the Philippines. Troops, ships and aircraft to attack in disputed waters.

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