Chinese surveillance ships, choppers patrol West PHL Sea

A marine surveillance fleet that included three surveillance ships and a helicopter left Hainan province in China Friday afternoon to conduct regular patrols in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

China’s Xinhua news agency reported the marine surveillance fleet departed from Sanya in South China for the “regular patrols.”

The report posted on China’s government portal quoted Chen Huaibei, head of the patrol team, as saying the patrolling missions will include “inspecting the islands and marine resources and ecology, and setting up a profile for each island.”

He added this is the first time for the Chinese maritime helicopter and ships to be dispatched to patrol the Xisha Islands at the same time since Sansha City was officially set up in July last year.

Sansha City is located in an area of the Spratlys where a 34-year-old Philippine town in Palawan province has a claim, particularly the Pag-asa Islet.

The Xinhua report said the team includes three China Marine Surveillance (CMS) ships: Haijian 83, Haijian 262, and Haijian 263. Joining the patrol will be a Haijian B-7103 helicopter.

“Haijian” is the Chinese equivalent of “marine surveillance,” the Xinhua report said.

It added the fleet will patrol waters around the Xisha Islands for nine days.

“The CMS ships are under the administration of the State Oceanic Administration. They have performed regular patrols and law-enforcement activities in waters under China’s jurisdiction since 2006,” it said. — LBG, GMA News


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