A Chinese survey ship sought refuge from rough seas in Catanduanes for several days and left on Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard said in a report.
The ship, Jia Geng, left Cabugao Bay at sunrise. It had been in Philippine waters since Friday. It's mission was not immediately clear from the Coast Guard report.
The captain of Jia Geng refused to be boarded by Filipino authorities, citing COVID-19 safety protocols, the report said.
The incident in Catanduanes occured as the Philippines protested a new law in China that allows the Chinese Coast Guard to use force to enforce Beijing's claims. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called it a threat of war.
The commander of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, who has jurisdiction over Catanduanes, confirmed in a separate report that the Chinese ship had sought permission to seek refuge from bad weather.
Weather bureau PAGASA had warned of rough seas in the area due to the Northeast Monsoon or Amihan.