August 09, 2019
Two Chinese survey ships had been operating within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), a maritime expert revealed.
Ryan Martinson, a maritime expert and professor at the US Naval War College, said on his Twitter account on Tuesday that China’s oceanographic survey ship Zhanjian was spotted operating 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines, which is near Siargao Island.
“Is it operating there with Manila’s permission?” Martinson asked. He also posted a photo of the vessel.
Martinson said the ship, which could be conducting maritime research, had been in the area since Saturday last week, believing that the ship was conducting marine scientific research.
He said the ship might be “placing or recovering instruments.”
“To conduct marine scientific research in another state’s EEZ, you must gain approval,” Martinson added.
He cited Article 246 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which says: “Marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf shall be conducted with the consent of the coastal State.”
On Wednesday, Martinson said another survey ship from China, the Dong Fang Hong 3, was spotted off the northernmost part of Luzon.
“China has a voracious appetite for marine data and its survey ships are operating everywhere. This is not unique,” Martinson said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., however, said he would wait for the confirmation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
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