PH, China to discuss possible joint maritime drill

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The Philippine Coast Guard on Tuesday, January 14, welcomed China Coast Guard Vessel 5204 as it undergoes a port call to the country.

The two coast guards will hold a bilateral meeting to discuss issues such as hotlines of communication and search and rescue operation.

They will also be discussing the possibility of conducting joint exercises on maritime security.

“This is the first time in history that the PCG and CCG formally sit down and talk to enhance relationship and establish smooth coordination in relation to maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, maritime safety, marine environmental protection, and maritime security,” said PCG commandant Adm. Joel Garcia in a statement.

PCG personnel and their Chinese counterparts will also exchange best practices on maritime affairs and law enforcement as well as to conduct cross-deck visits on their respective vessels.

“CCG’s port call in Manila is intended to enhance cooperation and understanding between the Philippines and China, specifically in the conduct of patrol operations in a way that will not instigate provocation,” the PCG said.

Garcia justified the CCG’s visit to the country following previous reports of harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea, stressing that the PCG was welcomed in China when it visited Beijing as part of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

This marks the third meeting between the PCG and the CCG. The previous meetings were held in Subic and Beijing.

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