Chinese vessels attempt to block resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal — US analyst
Chinese vessels attempt to block resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal — US analyst
Chinese vessels attempt to block resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal — US analyst
by Christhel Cuazon05 March 2024
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

Chinese vessels were spotted creating a blockade position while the Philippine military troops are carrying out their rotation and resupply mission in the area of BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin shoal, a US security analyst said Tuesday.

"Philippines' resupply to 2nd Thomas Shoal now underway. China's maritime militia has established blockade positions & appears ready to contest (unlike last month's mission). 15 militia ships visible on AIS, likely others (including China Coast Guard) running "dark"," US maritime security analyst Ray Powell said in a post of X (former Twitter).

"Philippine Coast Guard's BRP Cabra & BRP Sindangan providing escort Philippines' resupply boats. As noted yesterday????, at least 1-2 large China Coast Guard spotted in area (running dark) & likely involved in blockade. History suggests probably more,” he added.


Aside from the blockade, Powell said that BRP Cabra and BRP Sindangan were also shadowed by several Chinese militia vessels

“Philippines' resupply escorts now 13-16 nautical miles from 2nd Thomas Shoal, with BRP Cabra & BRP Sindangan each shadowed by 4x of China's Qiong Sansha Yu militia ships,” he said.

“History suggests likely at least 1x ‘dark’ China Coast Guard ship with each as well, but cannot confirm,” he added.


On Friday, Powell also reported that they have detected two Chinese research vessels “loitering” at the Philippine Rise.


According to Powell, the Chinese vessels Haiyang Dizhi Liuhao and Haiyang Dizhi Shihao came from Longque Island in Guangzhou province on February 26 and moved east-southeast through the Luzon Strait.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) earlier said it will conduct the resupply mission through its Western Command involving two civilian contracted vessels.

“The RoRe mission will involve two civilian contracted vessels (Unaizah May 1 and 4) supported by Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard ships,” the AFP said.

It said the mission is a “routine task to sustain military forces deployed in the West Philippine Sea and maintain Philippine presence in its exclusive economic zone


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