Philippine Coast Guard Blames Chinese Militia for 'Severe Damage' to Coral in Rozul Reef

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said there was “severe damage” to coral reefs in areas of the West Philippine Sea that are “frequented by Chinese militia,” according to a Facebook post on Monday, September 18.

The PCG said that they support and confirm a report by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that they said exposed the “severe damage inflicted upon the marine environment and coral reef in the seabed of Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal.”

According to the PCG, the “swarming” of Chinese fishing vessels may have caused the damage to the coral in the areas.

“The … indiscriminate, illegal, and destructive fishing activities of the Chinese Maritime Militia in Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal may have directly caused the degradation and destruction of the marine environment in the [West Philippine Sea] features,” the PCG said.

In response, a TV commentator and former Chinese military officer, Song Zhongping, told China’s state-run Global Times on Sunday that "the Philippines’ malicious attacks on China are baseless.

“China is a responsible major country that has always been steadfast in safeguarding the marine environment through various means,” Zhongping said.

This footage from the PCG shows damaged corals on the seabed of the West Philippine Sea. Credit: Philippine Coast Guard via Storyful

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