Monday, July 16, 2012

Chinese frigate runs aground off Philippines - now off the rocks and headed home

"Chinese frigate removed" reports The Philippine Star:
A Jianghu class frigate
A Chinese naval frigate that ran aground close to Palawan while patrolling disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea was refloated yesterday, the Chinese embassy in Manila said.

The embassy, citing a report from its Ministry of National Defense Information Department, said the warship that stalled near Half Moon Shoal (Hasa Hasa) was refloated at around 5 a.m. yesterday.

The stranding occurred Wednesday in a shoal just 60 nautical miles off the town of Rizal in Palawan, within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. The shoal is part of the Spratly Islands – which the Chinese call Nansha – a string of atolls and islands straddling vital shipping lanes in the South China Sea and believed to be sitting atop vast mineral deposits.
Red circle is around the Spratly Islands, red marker on Palawan, RP

“The grounded frigate near Nansha’s Half Moon Shoal was refloated successfully, with minor damage in the stern part,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its website.

“All the personnel aboard are safe. Now the preparation for return to the port is underway. No contamination has been caused in the incident area,” the update said.

Chinese embassy spokesman Zhang Hua said the vessel would sail back to port with minor damage.

The Department of National Defense (DND) also confirmed the stranded Chinese frigate was refloated.

“Based on reports from the Coast Guard, which has a vessel in the area, the ship is no longer in the Hasa Hasa Shoal,” DND spokesman Peter Galvez said.

UPDATE: ASEAN not much help to the Philippines, as reported in Philippines may not get help from neighbors on sea row:
Following the failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to issue a common statement regarding China's activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), foreign and Filipino experts believe that the Philippines may be unable to get the help it expects from its neighbors to resolve the dispute.

Saying economic interest of countries in the region may be the deciding factor, analysts said the Philippines' peers in the ASEAN may be unwilling to go out of their way to help the country in its territorial dispute against China.
The power of the Chinese pocketbook and the nearness of its growing navy are in evidence.


  1. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Back to Subic or there abouts, please!
    At the earliest opportunity, please invite Mr. Wendell Minnick back to Midrats to discuss the situation in the South China Sea.

  2. Hmmm, you'd figure that if they really did have a historic claim to the Spratly's, they'd have better charts.....