PCG spots 26 Chinese militia vessels near Ayungin shoal

According to the Philippine Coast Guard, at least 26 suspected Chinese maritime army and coast guard ships have been observed close to Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

The Chinese Coast Guard and 26 alleged maritime militia members are still present in the country’s maritime domain, according to images from the PCG’s Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) aircraft.


The Ayungin Shoal is located around 100 nautical miles off the coast of Palawan, but it is also close to Mischief Reef, which China supposedly holds in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The PCG stated that in reaction to a Chinese and English radio demand from the Chinese ship, they instructed China Coast Guard 5304 to leave the area, emphasizing that the MDA is being performed over the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone.

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) said in a separate statement that the PCG’s Cessna Caravan 2081 flew over Ayungin and Sabina Shoals on Tuesday, February 21, to monitor and conduct radio challenges to Chinese coast guard vessels.


The PCG jet arrived 10 nautical miles off Ayungin Shoal and issued a radio challenge to depart the area immediately on China Coast Guard 5304.

NTF-WPS said the Chinese vessel made an “unclear” radio challenge and remained in the shoal.

PCG spots 26 Chinese militia vessels near Ayungin shoal

According to the NTF-WPS, Chinese Coast Guard 5304 kept a steady distance of no more than one nautical mile from BRP Sierra Madre.


According to the PCG aircraft, at least four Chinese militia vessels were anchored inside the Ayungin Shoal.

The PCG pilots conveyed the patrol data and observations to AFP officers stationed onboard the BRP Sierra Madre (LS-57) at Ayungin Shoal.

According to the NTF-WPS, the Chinese coast guard vessel 5205, which directed the “military-grade” laser light toward the BRP Malapascua, departed the Kalayaan Island Group en way to Hainan, China.

The laser had caused temporary blindness in some PCG members.

However, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian stated that the Filipino and Chinese sides should avoid aggressive action in the disputed waters.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has submitted a diplomatic protest against China over the incident.

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