Home World Philippines says greater than 135 Chinese boats ‘swarming’ reef off its coast

Philippines says greater than 135 Chinese boats ‘swarming’ reef off its coast

Philippines says greater than 135 Chinese boats ‘swarming’ reef off its coast

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Suspected Chinese militia boats stay close to Chinese-built Subi island on December 1, 2023 at the disputed South China Sea.

Suspected Chinese militia boats keep near Chinese-built Subi island on December 1, 2023 on the disputed South China Sea.
| Photo Credit: AP

The Philippines mentioned on Sunday greater than 135 Chinese vessels have been “swarming” a reef off its coast, describing the boats’ rising presence as “alarming”.

The Chinese boats have been “dispersed and scattered” inside the boomerang-shaped Whitsun Reef, which the Philippines calls Julian Felipe Reef, round 320 km west of Palawan Island, the coast guard mentioned.

Whitsun Reef is greater than 1,000 km from the closest main Chinese landmass of Hainan island.

The Philippines mentioned it counted 111 “Chinese maritime militia vessels” (CMM) on November 13. When the coast guard deployed two patrol boats to the world on Saturday the quantity had elevated to “more than 135”, the power mentioned.

“No response was made to the radio challenges issued by the PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) to the CMM vessels which is now estimated to have grown to more than 135 vessels dispersed and scattered within Julian Felipe Reef,” Manila’s coast guard mentioned, describing the boats’ presence as “alarming” and “illegal”.

The Chinese embassy in Manila didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Beijing claims a lot of the South China Sea, together with waters and islands near the shores of its neighbours, and has ignored a global tribunal determination that its assertion has no authorized foundation.

It deploys vessels to patrol the waters, and has constructed synthetic islands and army installations to strengthen its stance.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have additionally staked claims to numerous islands and reefs within the sea, which is believed to have wealthy petroleum reserves deep beneath its waters.

The coast guard launched photos Sunday which it mentioned confirmed Chinese vessels lined up in formation whereas others have been scattered across the waters.

In 2021, an analogous incident involving greater than 200 Chinese vessels on the reef sparked a diplomatic row between Manila and Beijing.

At the time, Manila insisted their incursion into the Philippines’ unique financial zone was illegal.

But China insisted they have been fishing boats sheltering from dangerous climate and have been allowed to be there.

The Philippines introduced Friday that it was establishing a coast guard station on the biggest island it holds within the South China Sea to enhance the monitoring of Chinese vessels.

The coast guard station could be outfitted with “advanced systems”, together with radar, satellite tv for pc communication, coastal cameras and vessel site visitors administration, National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano mentioned throughout a go to to Thitu Island.

The station has been constructed and is predicted to be operational early subsequent 12 months.

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Content Source: www.thehindu.com

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