‘Friendly visit’: Manila to welcome Chinese coast guard ship this week

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2020 01:51 PM

A Philippine Coast Guard ship carries officials surveying the Manila Bay prior to a rehabilitation operation in January 2019. On Sunday, the Chinese embassy confirmed that the PCG invited a Chinese coast guard vessel for a "friendly visit." Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—A Chinese coast guard ship will visit Manila this week upon the invitation of its Philippine counterpart, the Chinese Embassy said Sunday.

China Coast Guard commandant Gen. Wang Zhongcai will lead the delegation from Beijing as Vessel 5204 pays what is dubbed a "friendly visit" from Monday to Friday, Jan. 13 to 17, the embassy said in a statement.

It is the first visit by such a Chinese vessel, it added.

"We believe that the visit will be a very good opportunity for both sides to demonstrate goodwill, deepen mutual understanding and trust as well as enhance friendship and cooperation," the embassy said, adding that the two countries will conduct its third meeting of the Joint Coast Guard Committee on Tuesday to Thursday.

The committee was established in 2017 as the two countries agreed to cooperate in fighting transnational crimes, protecting the environment and responding to emergencies. 

China claims most of the West Philippine Sea, including waters close to Philippine shores, and has rejected a UN-backed international tribunal ruling that invalidated its sweeping claims in the disputed waters.