mandag 8. juli 2024

What is China’s ‘monster’ coast guard ship and why is the Philippines spooked by it?

China anchored one of its two “monster” coast guard ships inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) last week in what a Philippine official called an act of “intimidation” in the ongoing territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila in the South China Sea.

Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Jay Tarriela said the China Coast Guard vessel CCG-5901 anchored near Sabina Shoal in the Spratly Islands, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of the Philippine island of Palawan on July 3, well within Manila’s 230-mile EEZ. Displacing 12,000 tons and with a length of 541 feet, CCG-5901 is three times the size of the United States Coast Guard’s main patrol vessels, the National Security Cutters - leading many observers to refer to the Chinese vessel as “The Monster.”

While at Sabina Shoal, the Chinese ship anchored within 800 yards of one of the Philippine Coast Guard’s newest and biggest ships previously deployed to the area, Tarriela said in a post on X.