By Betheena Unite
The Philippines and China had agreed to do better communication and coordination when their respective Coast Guards meet in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the China Coast Guard, during the First High-Level Visit Meeting, agreed to promote the atmosphere of partnership and cooperation in the whole of South China Sea.
This, according to the PCG, means that when the two Coast Guards meet in the said sea, “they would be able now to communicate with each other in a fashionable, friendly and cooperative manner.”
Under the agreement, the Hotline Communication Mechanism in the operational and tactical level was established by the two Coast Guards in their security and law enforcement cooperation.
Furthermore, the Chinese Ministry of Transport through their Maritime Rescue Coordinating Council offered a Hotline Communication equipment, which would provide real time, 24/7 communication between the two agencies using radio communications and video conferencing.
The development, PCG said, was discussed when the Philippine delegates headed by Commodore Joel Garcia went to Zhanjiang, China for the Maritime Search and Rescue Field Exercise held from October 30 to November 2.
The participation of the Philippines in the said event has “led to a political and security breakthrough and milestone in the China-Philippines relationship through Coast Guard diplomacy,” PCG said.
Garcia said the China Coast Guard also agreed to visit ports in the Philippines.
In exchange, the Philippines can also conduct port visits to China “which also calls for additional opportunities in increasing the number of people-to-people exchanges through the conduct of security and law enforcement trainings and exercises.”
The two Coast Guard parties also agreed to crackdown cross boarder maritime crimes and the transport of illegal drugs.
In their visit, the PCG delegates were able to tour the security ports in Guangdong, Zhanjiang and China Coast Guard ports and ships in Xiamen showing all the security and training facilities therein without restrictions.
During the meeting, the PCG has agreed to observe the Declaration of Conduct of 2002 in South China Sea including applicable international laws, maritime conventions and the 1982 United Nation Conventions on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“As these develop, the Philippines now can foresee a friendly partnership and cooperation in promoting good order and peace with China without the veil of suspicion, attitude of animosity, and belligerency. Their openness and transparency has brought forth goodwill by both Coast Guards to avoid any miscalculations,” the PCG said in a statement yesterday
Tags: China, China Coast Guard, Coast Guards, Hotline Communication Mechanism, law enforcement cooperation, Manila Bulletin, PH China Coast Guards agree to communicate coordinate better, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippines, South China Sea