Philippines-China relations

After PH’s latest protest vs China, Chinese envoy visits PCG chief

Jairo Bolledo
After PH’s latest protest vs China, Chinese envoy visits PCG chief

VISIT. Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu welcomes Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian.

Philippine Coast Guard

PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian discuss possible areas of cooperation. Huang even says he hopes for better cooperation between the countries' coast guards.

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian visited the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday, June 2 – only days after the Philippines filed another diplomatic protest against China for its unilateral imposition of a fishing ban in the South China Sea.

According to the PCG, the Chinese ambassador paid a courtesy visit to PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu at the PCG national headquarters in Port Area, Manila.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) filed last May 30 a diplomatic protest against China’s fishing ban moratorium, which covers “areas in the West Philippine Sea over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction.” The DFA said it continues to protest against China’s annual declaration of fishing ban. 

For this year, the ban took effect on May 1 and will last until August 16. China extends the ban even in areas beyond its legitimate jurisdiction under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The PCG said Abu and the Chinese official discussed possible areas of cooperation. The Chinese ambassador even said he hopes for better cooperation between the countries’ coast guards. 

“I sincerely hope that the PCG and CCG would further strengthen cooperation to promote peace and stability in the region,” Huang said.

But the Chinese coast guard has been accused of harassing and even attacking Filipino fisherfolk and vessels. In 2021 alone, Philippine authorities reported a few incidents of Chinese harassment within Philippine waters. 

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In November 2021, Chinese coast guard vessels blocked and fired water cannons on Philippine boats en route to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in waters off Palawan. In May of the same year, Philippine vessels were challenged and shadowed by the Chinese coast guard in Zambales. 

Early this year, a Chinese navy vessel intruded and then later lingered in the Sulu Sea. Between 2021 and 2022, the DFA had already summoned the Chinese ambassador to Manila twice for Chinese intrusions in the country. – Rappler.com 

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.