Chinese Coast Guard Vessels Harass Philippine Vessels Near Rozul Reef

Two Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels harassed Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessels near Rozul Reef on April 4th.

The incident occurred when the two CCG vessels began to harass the Philippine fishing boats that volunteered to support the joint PCG-BFAR operation at the shoal. The operation involved the PCG and BFAR ships dropping floating aggregate devices, called payao, near the Philippine-claimed feature.

PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela stated that the CCG boats “pretended to man their water cannons” and threatened the Philippine fishermen. Screenshots and video Tarriela posted to his X account confirmed that personnel onboard CCG ship 21556 manned the water cannon as it harassed a Philippine fishing boat.

Tarriela said that the CCG vessel’s aggressive actions are due to “China’s greed and unfounded claim that these waters belong to them based on their imaginary dashed line.”

He also noted that the reef fell within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone because it is located around 128 nautical miles (237 km) from Palawan.

Screenshot of CCG personnel pretending to man water cannon on CCG vessel 21556 as the ship harassed Philippine fishing boat near Rozul Reef on April 4th (Photo: X/@jaytaryela)