Illegally grounded Philippine military vessel damages ecosystem at Ren'ai Jiao: report

Li Jiayao
2024-07-08 18:06:51

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine military vessel that has been illegally grounded at the lagoon slope of Ren'ai Jiao since 1999 has gravely damaged the diversity, stability and sustainability of the coral reef ecosystem in the area, said a report released Monday.

A Survey Report on the Damage to Coral Reef Ecosystem by Illegally Grounded Military Vessel at Ren'ai Jiao is based on a scientific survey conducted on the coral reef ecosystem at Ren'ai Jiao and its adjacent sea areas in April this year by the South China Sea Ecological Center and the South China Sea Development Research Institute of China's Ministry of Natural Resources together with other institutes.

The survey found that the grounding process has inflicted fatal damage on the coral reef ecosystem, and its prolonged grounding state has greatly inhibited the growth and recovery of corals in the surrounding area, said the report.

Heavy metal precipitation caused by corrosion of the vessel, coupled with discharge of domestic wastes and sewage by onboard personnel, has inflicted lasting harm on the corals' health, according to the report.

The health of the coral reef ecosystem has also been severely compromised by fishing wastes discarded by onboard personnel and Philippine fishing boats, said the report.

The survey was conducted through satellite remote sensing and field investigation, according to the report.

China maintains indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands) and the adjacent waters, including Ren'ai Jiao, said the report.

A Philippine military vessel was illegally grounded on the lagoon slope of Ren'ai Jiao in 1999. The Chinese government promptly lodged formal protests and demanded the immediate removal of the vessel. The Philippine side has repeatedly promised to remove the vessel, yet as of today, the promise remains unfulfilled. 

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