Germany to give PCG surveillance drones amid tensions in WPS

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — Germany will give the Philippines two surveillance drones, as it expressed concerns over recent tensions between Manila and Beijing over Ayungin Shoal.

"We are offering two drones so far. This program will be extended to give you more drones, to help the Philippines, the PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) in surveying the sea waters of the Philippines," German Ambassador to the Philippines Andreas Michael Pfaffernoshke told CNN Philippines' The Final Word on Wednesday.

Pfaffernoshke said the drones will help the country's coast guard survey the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

"Germany is an enthusiastic defender of the international word order, based on the charter of the United Nations," he added. "The law is clear that the West Philippine Sea is part of the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines."

Earlier this month, the China Coast Guard blocked and fired water cannons at Philippine vessels on the way to Ayungin Shoal for a resupply mission.

This is just one of the many Chinese incursions in the WPS despite the landmark arbitral ruling in 2016.

READ: 7 years on, more can be done to maximize potential of 2016 Hague ruling on South China Sea - envoy

Pfaffernoshke also said Germany's support may cross other regions from time to time as they also have the interest in keeping the disputed South China Sea a "free area for all ships of the world."

"We are a trading nation. We depend on world trade. We depend on the freedom of navigation, including in the South China Sea," he added.