Lorenzana says gov’t aware Chinese fishermen in South China Sea are militia
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government is aware that Chinese fishermen in South China Sea are controlled by the China People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
“Well we know that they are (Chinese fishermen) militias, even their Navy, Coast Guard, their Navy were there,” Lorenzana said in an interview in Maguindanao on Thursday.
“Yes, yes they are militias. They are working under the (China) PLA Navy,” he added.
In its article dated January 9,2019, think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) claimed “most Chinese fishing vessels in the Spratlys are not fishing very often.”
It alleged that “the size and quantity of Chinese vessels observed in the Spratlys suggests a massive overcapacity.”
“This gross overcapacity combined with their tendency to congregate around both Chinese-occupied reefs and those held by other claimants leads to the conclusion that most of these vessels serve, at least part-time, in China’s maritime militia,” it noted.
The article also stated “the activities of the militia are well-documented.”
“They engage in patrol, surveillance, resupply, and other missions to bolster China’s presence in contested waters in the South and East China Seas,” it stated.
“Beijing makes no secret of their existence, and some of the best-trained and best-equipped members engage in overt paramilitary activities such as the harassment of foreign vessels operating near Chinese-held islets or dangerous standoffs with vessels from neighboring states as occurred in 2014 when China deployed an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam,” the article noted.
“But this analysis indicates that their numbers in the Spratly Islands are much larger and much more persistent than is generally understood,” it added. Robina Asido/DMS