Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday
confirmed that a Chinese warship has run aground on a shoal located well
within Philippine waters, about 60 nautical miles from Rizal, Palawan.
The DND said the ship that ran aground was a Jianghu Class, a Chinese guided missile frigate with bow number 560.
“We have dispatched our own assets from the Western Command to
investigate kung bakit siya andyan. Naaksidente ba? Kung kailangan nila
ng tulong, tutulong tayo,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.
Australian paper Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Chinese
warship ran aground while patrolling the contested waters adjacent to
the Philippines in the hotly-contested West Philippine Sea (South China
The report quoting Western Diplomatic sources added that the frigate
pinned itself to a reef the other night at Half Moon (Hasa Hasa) Shoal,
on the southeastern edge of the Spratlys Islands and remains “thoroughly
“Salvage operations could be diplomatically challenging, given the
vessel appears to have run around within 200 kilometers of the
Philippines Coast, which is squarely within what Manila claims to be its
Exclusive Economic Zone,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Sources in the Armed Forces' Western Command (Wescom) said the
ill-fated Chinese warship is one of several Chinese naval gunboats that
have been conducting regular patrols in the West Philippine Sea and have
been aggressively harassing Filipino fishermen in the hotly-contested
Another source said the sea mishap occurred several days ago without
any sign that the Chinese warship being salvaged from the area.
“It’s been there since it (warship) struck the reef several days
ago,” said a source, adding that the Chinese vessel is based at the
Chinese's highly-fortified Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef).
Mischief Reef, he said, is only 76 nautical miles from Hasa Hasa Shoal.
While the sealane in Hasa-Hasa is an international passage way for
commercial vessels, the source said the presence of the Chinese warship
in the area only bolstered China’s creeping invasion in the South China
Sea, which is also being claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia,
Taiwan and Brunie.
“Hasa Hasa Shoal is only 60 nautical miles from Rizal, Palawan. They
have no right to be there in the first place,” the source stressed.
For several months now, China has become very aggressive in laying
its territorial claim over the entire South China Sea based only on
Aside from Mischief Reef, China has also installed a powerful radar
atop a four-story building they have constructed at their occupied Subi
Reef, which is only 12 nautical miles from Pag-Asa Island, seat of the
municipal government of Kalayaan town in Palawan province.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jaime Laude | The Philippine Star | July 13, 2012 | Article Link