MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines and the US are discussing conducting joint coast guard patrols, together with in the South China Sea, a Manila official stated on Monday.
With overlapping sovereign claims in the strategic waterway, the Philippines has ramped up rhetoric in opposition to what it describes as China’s “aggressive actions” in the South China Sea, which has additionally develop into a flashpoint for Chinese language and U.S. tensions round naval operation.
Jay Tarriela, the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) spokesperson on South China See points, informed CNN Philippines that talks with the US have superior past the infancy stage and the probability of finishing up joint patrols is excessive.
Tarriela didn’t present particulars on the dimensions or timing of the proposed patrols, which come after the Pentagon stated this month the US and the Philippines had “agreed to restart joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea”.
“There may be already a transparent path of risk for the reason that Protection Division of the US has additionally supported the joint patrol with the Philippine navy and the U.S. navy so there’s a certainty for this specific joint patrols to occur between the coast guard of each nations,” Tarriela stated.
“There may be additionally a risk that it will likely be performed in the South China Sea in assist of the liberty of navigation of the US authorities,” he stated.
Rommel Jude Ong, former vice commander of the Philippine Navy, informed Reuters on Monday, the thought of a coast guard deployment in the South China Sea as an alternative of the navy will “mitigate any miscalculation and stop China from discovering an excuse to escalate pressure” in the waterway.
Earlier this month, the PCG accused China’s coast guard of aiming a “military-grade laser” in opposition to its vessel supporting a resupply mission for troops on an atoll, quickly blinding its crew, prompting expressions of concern from different nations together with Japan, Australia and the US.
China has refuted the PCG’s account, which it stated didn’t replicate the reality.
The Chinese language Embassy in Manila didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the joint patrols.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr final week summoned China’s ambassador to relay his concern over the frequency and depth of China’s actions in the South China Sea.
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Modifying by Kanupriya Kapoor)