President Surangel Whipps Jr. And U.S. Rear Admiral Michael Day, Commander of Fourteenth Coast Guard Division sign agreement expanding role of US Coast Guard in Palau 's maritime security.

Ok’d to enforce Palau maritime laws,

The United States Coast Guard is monitoring the Chinese research/survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 12 Hao, which entered Palau’s EEZ on August 29 and since then has gone outside the border.  According to Palau’s National Security Advisor Jennifer Anson, as of August 31st, the ship continues to “loiter” along the border at around 1 knot.  The ship seemed to be drifting with its engines off.

: Haiyang Dizhi 12 Hao, Chinese research/survey vessel entered Palau waters on August 29 and left again but remained at the border for the last three days.

The ship’s final destination is Guangzhou, China, but it has been staying along Palau’s EEZ border for the last 3 days, maintaining a speed of 1 knot.

Palau, this week, signed an agreement with the United States, expanding the existing bilateral agreement to allow the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce Palau’s maritime laws on their own without requiring Palau’s law enforcement officer on board. 

“Now they don’t have to come to pick up a Palauan officer then go back out.  They can enforce our laws at our request,” said National Security Coordinator Ansen.

The agreement ” improves law enforcement across Palau’s exclusive economic zone,” according to information from the Office of the President.

“This agreement significantly strengthens presence and enforcement options to counter illicit maritime activity in Palau’s EEZ. It is made possible by the deep and abiding relationships and respect between the U.S. Coast Guard and Palau,” stated President Surangel Whipps Jr.

The agreement was signed on the 23rd of August by President Surangel Whipps Jr. and Rear Admiral Michael Day, Commander Fourteenth Coast Guard Division and witnessed by National Security Advisor Jennifer Anson and Vice Admiral Peter W. Gautier, Deputy Commander for Operations, U.S. Coast Guard.

Chinese research/survey vessels have been entering Palau waters consistently since 2016 and staying within Palau waters without notification or authorization.  At each excursion into Palau’s EEZ, the vessels have refused to communicate or respond to communications from the Palau government.

In June, Palau President Whipps said he requested the support of the United States in handling these unauthorized excursions into Palau’s EEZ.

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