South China Sea: Philippine navy chief warns of Chinese ‘provocation’

South China Sea: Philippine navy chief warns of Chinese ‘provocation’

  • Vice-Admiral Giovanni Bacordo calls for diplomatic protest against presence of two Chinese research ships near the disputed energy-rich Reed Bank
  • Chinese navy has been trying to provoke its Philippine counterparts into firing ‘the first shot’, he says

The Philippine navy chief has called for a diplomatic protest to be filed against the presence of two Chinese research ships in a disputed area of the South China Sea.

Vice-Admiral Giovanni Bacordo told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Monday the Chinese vessels had been near the Reed Bank for “about a week already” and that due to their speed of “about three knots” the navy had concluded they were “conducting surveys”.

“We have reported this [to the Armed Forces Chief and the Department of National Defence] already … and request the filing of a diplomatic protest,” said Bacordo, 55.

“We have checked if they have clearance to be there. We found out there is none.”