A Philippine military aircraft confirmed Saturday that a Chinese naval frigate remains stranded in disputed waters of the South China Sea, a military spokesman said.That would make the ship that ran aground the frigate Dongguan (560), a Jianghu-V class frigate. Welcome to the South China Sea littorals.
The Chinese frigate and smaller craft were sighted by a Philippine Islander plane, said regional military spokesman Colonel Neil Anthony Estrella.
"During the aerial reconnaissance mission, they were able to confirm, based on photographs, that there is indeed a ship with bow number 560 aground at Half Moon Shoal," he told AFP.
He said five more vessels and a number of smaller boats were assisting the grounded ship.
A navy ship and a coast guard vessel had been dispatched to the area to monitor the Chinese operations, he added.
He stressed that the shoal was just 60 nautical miles from the western Philippine island of Palawan, well within the country's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, as recognised by international law.
While the Half Moon Shoal is within the Philippine EEZ, the Chinese frigate has every right to be within the waters of the EEZ; although not necessarily on the shoal itself. With that said, this wasn't intended to be an amphibious assault.
What is noteworthy here is that the Philippines