West PH Sea: CCG, militia vessels intercept 2 PCG boats near Ayungin

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 03:00 PM July 07, 2024

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WPS COMPOSITE IMAGE from Inquirer, AFP, Reuters file photos

MANILA, Philippines — A 102-meter-long Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ship, along with at least six maritime militia vessels, reportedly intercepted two Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) boats near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Sunday, West Philippine Sea monitor Ray Powell said two PCG ships were intercepted by CCG and are now passing through 14 nautical miles east of Second Thomas Shoal.

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READ: China’s ‘monster ship’ returns to West Philippine Sea amid talks 

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“Philippines Coast Guard BRP Cabra and BRP Cape Engano now passing, 14 nautical miles (nm) east of Second Thomas Shoal. They have been intercepted by China Coast Guard 5203 and at least six China maritime militia vessels, now closely shadowing,” Powell wrote on X.

“PCG’s BRP Cabra and BRP Cape Engano illuminated their AIS (Automatic Identification System) broadcasts around midnight, 18 nm south of Second Thomas Shoal. China reacted by dispatching seven more militia to bolster blockade around 2TS (Second Thomas Shoal) while CCG 5203 went south & first interdicted the two ships at 7:00,” he added.

“They have been intercepted by China Coast Guard 5203 and at least six China maritime militia vessels, now closely shadowing,” he added.

READ: West Philippine Sea: Marcos OKd purchase of more fighter jets – AFP chief

INQUIRER.net sought the confirmation of PCG regarding the report, but it has yet to reply as of posting.

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The CCG’s biggest vessel, dubbed the “monster ship,” returned to the West Philippine Sea last July 3 amid ongoing talks between Manila and Beijing.

It returned to the region a few days after leaving the country’s exclusive economic zone on June 27.

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