2 Chinese warships sighted in Basilan Strait

2 Chinese warships sighted in Basilan Strait
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THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), confirmed the sighting of Chinese warships in Basilan Strait on Thursday, June 6, 2024.

The NFWM said Friday, June 7, that two People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy vessels, a training ship and an amphibious transport dock, were monitored passing through Basilan Strait within the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The AFP issued the statement as the sighting of the two PLA navy vessels has raised concerns among the residents of Zamboanga and Basilan province.

"In accordance with standard operating procedure, the AFP dispatched BRP

Domingo Deluana (PG-905) to shadow/monitor the passage of the two PLA Navy vessels. Our escorting vessel also issued a standard challenge to the Chinese warships," the AFP said.

"One of the vessels, Qi Jiquang (BN-83) responded that it was conducting normal navigation from its last port of call in Dili, Timor Leste en route to Dalian, China," the AFP added.

The AFP said Basilan Strait is recognized as an international sea lane, allowing innocence passage of vessels from various nations.

Major Orlando Ayllon, of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said Friday that the two PLA navy vessels were monitored in Basilan Strait around 1:35 p.m. Thursday, June 6.

Ayllon said the two PLA navy vessels came from Dili, Timor Leste where they conducted cadetship training and goodwill visit.

The sightings of the two PLA navy vessels in Basilan Strait came over a month after four similar Chinese vessels were sighted in Sibutu passage in Tawi-Tawi. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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