Chinese envoy, AFP chief meet amid laser controversy

Chinese envoy, AFP chief meet amid laser-pointing incident GMA News Online

Filtered By: Topstories


Published February 16, 2023 8:09am

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian has met with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Andres Centino amid the tension following the laser-pointing incident in Ayungin Shoal.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Huang said they discussed military liaison exchanges and cooperation as well as maintaining “peace and stability” in the region.

“Had a cordial and constructive meeting with CSAFP General Andres C. Centino during my courtesy visit at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City,” he said.

“We discussed matters pertaining to mil to mil exchange and cooperation as well as sustaining peace and stability in the region.”

The meeting came days after a Chinese coast guard (CCG) vessel, on February 6, pointed a military-grade laser against a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel performing a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

According to the PCG, the laser temporarily blinded some of the crew members onboard their ship.

The incident prompted the AFP to call on the Chinese government to control its forces.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also summoned Huang to Malaca?ang to express his serious concern over the increasing frequency and intensity of China’s actions against PCG personnel and Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs filed a diplomatic protest against China over the incident.

Defending CCG’s action, Beijing accused the PCG vessel of intruding into the waters off Ren’ai Reef, which is what it calls Ayungin Shoal, “without Chinese permission.” China virtually claims the entire South China Sea, including parts the Philippines refers to as West Philippine Sea. —Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA Integrated News

Tags: Ayungin Shoal, West Philippine sea, news

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