The China Coast Guard (CCG) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) held the second organizational meeting and the inaugural meeting of the Joint Coast Guard Committee (JCGC) in Subic Bay.
The meetings on February 20 to 22 were convened to implement the Memorandum of Understanding between the China Coast Guard and the Philippine Coast Guard on the Establishment of a Joint Coast Guard Committee on Maritime Cooperation, which was signed on October 20, 2016 witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Guest of Honor during the Inaugural Meeting of the JCGC, Hon. Felipe A. Judan, the Undersecretary for the Maritime Sector of the Department of Transportation, delivered a keynote address. He expressed his strong support for the Coast Guard Diplomacy advocated by the Philippines and China Coast Guards. He noted that mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship between the Coast Guards contribute to further strengthening of bilateral relations of the two countries.
At the inaugural meeting, both sides recognized the significance of coast guard diplomacy. The JCGC adopted the Implementing Guidelines of the MOU and the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Working Groups established to assist in the work of the Committee. Both sides agreed to cooperate in the sectors of preventing and combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes, Search and Rescue (SAR), environment protection and emergency response through, among other modalities, information exchange and pragmatic empowerment activities unique for coast guards and enforcement agencies.
Both sides also established a hotline mechanism to facilitate communications in agreed areas.
To enhance exchange and cooperation between the two maritime law enforcement agencies, both sides agreed to conduct bilateral exchange activities in 2017, including high-level visits, maritime operations and related exercises, vessel visits and capacity building. The CCG also invited PCG officials for a high-level visit to China at an appropriate time in 2017.
After the meetings, the two sides signed the Record of Discussion.
The Office of the Foreign Affairs Leading Groups of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs also participated in the meetings.