By Roy Mabasa, Rizal Obanil and Betheena Kae Unite
A Chinese language Coast Guard vessel will conduct a five-day port go to within the Philippines from January 13-17, 2019, the Chinese language Embassy in Manila stated on Sunday.
In an announcement, the Chinese language Embassy stated the “pleasant go to,” the primary time by a China Coast guard vessel, will likely be a “excellent alternative for either side to show goodwill, deepen mutual understanding and belief and cooperation.”
The go to is made attainable upon the invitation of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Through the go to, each Philippine and Chinese language Coast Guards will conduct varied actions reminiscent of cross deck go to, search and rescue and hearth preventing workout routines, in addition to pleasant sports activities video games.
Basic Wang Zhongcai, Commandant of China Coast Guard, will lead a delegation to go to the Philippines. Alongside the go to is the Third Assembly of the Joint Coast Guard Committee (JCGC) between China and the Philippines on January 14 to 16.
The JCGC was based in 2017 following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PCG and CCG on the institution of the JCGC on Maritime Cooperation on the onset of the Duterte administration.
Since October 2016, the Embassy stated the 2 Coast Guards have maintained shut contact and frequent high-level exchanges. A hotline between the 2 sides has been established to facilitate communication in agreed areas.
Below that interval, the 2 Coast Guards have additionally agreed to strengthen cooperation within the fields of combating transnational crime, maritime search and rescue, fishery legislation enforcement, environmental safety, and emergency response.
“We’re totally assured that the high-level go to and the third assembly will additional improve our mutual understanding and inject new impetus into the wholesome and regular growth of the China-Philippines relations, and contribute to the regional peace and stability,” the Chinese language Embassy added.
The Chinese language Embassy famous that the scheduled assembly between the Coast Guards of China and the Philippines has just lately acquired adverse consideration on social media.
“Many netizens have been suspicious of the timing of the assembly, particularly due to the continued territorial dispute between the Philippines and China,” it stated.
“Such a gathering, nonetheless, is in step with the Duterte administration’s bid to strengthen the nation’s ties with China,” the assertion stated.
Coast Guard diplomacy
Days earlier than the arrival of the CCG in Manila, Chinese language Ambassador Huang Xilian met with Admiral Joel Garcia, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, on the PCG headquarters Friday to debate the upcoming first-ever maritime workout routines of the CCG and PCG.
Each side exchanged views on the go to of the CCG Vessel 5204 to the nation and agreed to reinforce pragmatic cooperation in varied fields of the Coast Guard.
Ambassador Huang stated in an announcement that cooperation between CCG and PCG have made constructive progress over the previous three years. The 2 sides have established a hotline mechanism, and the areas of cooperation have steadily expanded.
Garcia, alternatively, acknowledged the identical throughout a press briefing Friday, saying that whereas the problem between the 2 nations on the West Philippine Sea will not be mentioned, they’ll push for the crafting of a mechanism for the welfare of the fishermen in a bid to keep away from a repeat of the Gem-Ver incident.
The PCG can be trying to enhance the road of communication between the 2 Coast Guard forces on the subject of maritime patrol.
The ambassador additionally believes the go to and assembly will inject new impetus into the wholesome and regular growth of China-Philippine relations, and contribute to regional peace and stability.
Garcia acknowledged that the PCG warmly welcomed the primary go to of CCG vessel to the Philippines and wish to take the chance of the third assembly “to deepen sensible cooperation between the 2 events within the fields of transnational crime, maritime search and rescue, environmental safety, and emergency response.”
“The Philippines will proceed to work with China to actively promote ‘Coast Guard Diplomacy’ in an effort to reinforce mutual belief and promote friendship by way of exchanges and cooperation,” Garcia stated.