China Intensifies Patrol of Sea Areas of Disputes with Philippines

Chinese coast guard ship with 3,000-ton displacement

Chinese coast guard ship with 3,000-ton displacement

I said in my post on August 16 that China exploited Philippines’ error to expand the area of its patrol after the Philippines meted out severe punishment to Chinese fishermen for entry of the disputed waters claimed by the Philippines. It is something foreseeable by common sense, especially now when China has grasped the opportunity that the US is distracted by the problems in Middle East and Ukraine.

China’s strategy is to ease tension with Japan as its relations with Japan involve lots of interests while taking the offensives in the South China Sea to exploit the energy, fishing, fish farming and tourism resources there.

As China has claimed the area within the nine-dash line since long ago and has included its claim in an official map published in 1947, there is no retreat for China. If Chinese government gives up the area, it will lose its legitimacy.

Philippine President Aquino perhaps lacks knowledge about Chinese history and politics; therefore, he erroneously believed that he could get concession from China when he adopted hardline attitude towards China. He started the Scarborough standoff but lost his share of administration and fishing right there.

Now, he believes that punishing Chinese fishermen harshly will soften China, but China has exploited it as an excuse to intensify its patrol of the disputed waters. In the post on August 16, I mentioned Philippine major TV network’s report that the presence of Chinese patrol ships scared Philippine fishermen.

Now, according to, Philippine major newspaper Philippine Star’s website reported yesterday that in the evening of August 1, Chinese Coast Guard ship no. 3111 drove away a Philippine fishing boat in spite of bad weather.

The small wooden fishing boat driven by a single engine had some Philippine local officials and reporters on board at that time. It was trying to enter the lagoon of the Second Thomas Shoal to seek shelter from bad weather, but the said Chinese ship switched on powerful floodlight and sounded alarm to drive the boat back into high sea.

People on the fishing boat were so scared that they put on life jackets and boarded life rafts. The Chinese ship chased the boat for half an hour until the boat reached the shallow water near a reef.

If there had not been tension caused by Philippine government’s harsh punishment of Chinese fishermen, China would have allowed the boat into the lagoon for humanitarian reason even if the shoal belongs to China free of any disputes. Now, China wants to be as harsh as the Philippines. Who will suffer? Chinese and Philippine fishermen will suffer. However, Chinese fishermen are equipped with Beidou global positioning devices and can use the devices to send message to coast guards when they are disturbed by the Philippines. It seems that Philippine fishermen will mainly be the victims of the tension between the two countries.

Source: “Philippine said Chinese Coast Guard ship used powerful light and took strong actions to drive its boat away from Second Johnson Shoal” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Related posts:

  • China Exploited Philippine Error to Expand Area of Its Patrol dated August 16, 2014
  • Philippines Gives Hefty Jail Terms to 12 Chinese Fishermen dated August 6, 2014
  • Satellites and seafood: China keeps fishing fleet connected in disputed waters dated July 29, 2014
  • Philippines jails Chinese fishermen for infringing wildlife law dated May 11, 2014
  • South China Sea Disputes: US Pivot to Asia Has Zero Effect dated February 19, 2014
  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013

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