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Locsin says PHL 'firing off' diplomatic protest over presence of Chinese ships in EEZ

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The Philippines is set to lodge another diplomatic protest against China, this time in connection with the two Chinese vessels that were spotted in the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

On Twitter, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said they are "firing off" the diplomatic protest after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana questioned the business of Chinese research vessels and warships in Philippine waters.

"Okay, got it, General. @DFAPHL firing off diplomatic protest," Locsin tweeted.

The move came after Ryan Martinson, assistant professor at China Maritime Studies Institute of Naval War College, claimed that a Chinese oceanographic survey ship was sighted operating in Philippine sea territory.

Martinson said Chinese ship Zhanjian, which was just 75 nautical miles away, started operating in the Philippine east coast on August 3.

Aside from the Zhanjian, another Chinese survey ship Dong Fang Hong 3 was also spotted in the Philippine EEZ.

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio had earlier said the Chinese ships cannot do activities in the EEZ unless they have the permission from the Philippine government.

It was the third diplomatic protest against China, with the first one filed in June in connection with the incident in which a Filipino fishing boat sank after it was hit by a Chinese vessel at Reed Bank.

The second one, filed in July, was due to China's reported "swarming" activity in the disputed waters. —KBK, GMA News

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