China Coast Guard Challenges Merchant Ship Near Contested Reef
During a recent transit past disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, the Greek-owned tanker Green Aura was harassed by Chinese government vessels, her master told Philippine media last week. Though Scarborough is claimed by the Philippines and is located within Philippine waters, the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has insisted that it will not raise the matter with Beijing.
The Green Aura’s master, Philippine national Capt. Manolo Ebora, told Philippine outlet Rappler that he diverted to Scarborough during a voyage from the Nong Yao offshore oilfield in the Gulf of Thailand to the port of Longkou, China. He serves as a reservist in the Philippine Navy, and he said that his goal was to see whether reports of a Chinese presence at Scarborough were accurate.
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