West Philippine Sea

After West PH Sea near-collision, Marcos tells China: Form communications team

Bea Cupin

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

After West PH Sea near-collision, Marcos tells China: Form communications team

NEAR-COLLISION. A China Coast Guard vessel comes dangerously close to the Philippine Coast Guard's BRP Malapascua on April 23, 2023, near the Ayungin Shoal, which is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippines has already submitted the names of point persons for a communication mechanism to ease maritime tensions. China has not yet done so.

ON BOARD PRESIDENTIAL PLANE – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Sunday, April 30, that China has yet to form its team for a communication mechanism to avoid misunderstandings in the West Philippine Sea.

Marcos was responding to journalists who asked if he had already spoken to China about a near-collision between the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the China Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea, or the portion of the South China Sea that is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. 

“They almost collided and that can cause casualties on both sides. And that’s exactly what we want to avoid, so I told them we should finish, create the high-level communication mechanism we talked about. It has yet to be formed,” Marcos told reporters on board the presidential plane en route to the United States.

“We’re waiting for China to give us the details [of] who will be the team at their end,” he added.

After West PH Sea near-collision, Marcos tells China: Form communications team

The Philippines, said Marcos, has already submitted the names and contact numbers of its team members.

The communication mechanism is the result of a much-hyped bilateral agreement signed between Manila and Beijing during Marcos’ state visit in January.

Marcos did not identify who he spoke to about finalizing the communication mechanism, but he was photographed with Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian on Saturday, April 29, during a sportsfest at Malacañang.

Despite the January state visit, and mutual promises of a “maturing” relationship between Manila and Beijing, China’s aggressions in the West Philippine Sea have seemingly grown more intense and more frequent. 

The PCG has documented and reported on these incidents, including the most recent near-collision last April 23.

In February, just a month after the state visit, Chinese vessels pointed a military-grade laser at Filipinos, endangering the lives of crew on board. Marcos summoned Huang over this incident, telling the envoy that friends are not supposed to point lasers at each other.

Marcos is embarking on a five-day official visit to the US, which will kick off with a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, May 1.

The Philippine President said he wants to understand Washington’s view of the situation in the Indo-Pacific and “what part today the United States intends to play.”

Marcos plans to “put our position forward.”

“To say that…kami, wala kaming interes kung hindi maging peaceful lang ang region namin (we have no interest other than peace in our region),” he added. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.