Manila, Philippines (AP) —The Philippine government said Wednesday that more than 250 Chinese vessels, believed to have militias, were found near Manila’s alleged six islands and coral reefs in the conflicting South China Sea.
The gathering of Chinese naval vessels along with four Chinese naval vessels at a base on an artificial island occupied by China poses a “danger to the safety of navigation and life at sea”, damaging coral reefs and threatening Philippine sovereignty. There is sex. A government agency overseeing the disputed waters said.
China ignored the Philippine government’s diplomatic protests and the Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana calling for about 200 Chinese ships to leave Wit Sun Reef, the waters belonging to China, and Chinese ships evacuating from rough seas. Said that.
Philippine officials said 44 Chinese “militia” vessels were still moored at Witsan Reef, which Manila calls Julian Felipe, after carrying out air and sea patrol missions. More than 200 other vessels from China’s Flotilla appear to be dispersed in five other regions of the Spratly Islands, including three Chinese-occupied artificial islands, they said.
At least four Chinese naval vessels were on the Chinese-occupied Mischief Reef, according to Philippine officials. China dominated coral reefs in 1995, attracting strong protests from the Philippines and other claimants.
Officials said there were about 45 Chinese ships near the Philippine-occupied island of Titu, which Manila calls Pagasa.
“The Philippines is urging China to immediately withdraw these flag-raising vessels,” the National Task Force of the Western Philippine Sea said in a statement. “Neither the Philippines nor the international community will ever accept China’s claim of so-called” indisputable integrated sovereignty “over almost all of the South China Sea. “
An inter-ministerial agency led by President Rodrigo Duterte’s national security adviser has released a surveillance photo of the Chinese fleet in the conflict area. The Government of the Philippines is located in the internationally recognized exclusive economic zone, the EEZ, where it has exclusive rights to the potential of fish and harnesses. Submarine gas and oil deposits and other resources.
“Their herds … pose a threat to the peaceful exercise of Filipino sovereignty in their EEZ,” the Task Force said.
The Philippines considers the Spratly Islands, which occupy nine islands and islets, to be part of the western Palawan province. However, the chain of resource-rich islands, islets and atolls is also claimed by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. China has turned seven disputed coral reefs into missile-protected island bases, which has increased tensions in recent years.
The United States has expressed support for its long-standing treaty ally, the Philippines, accusing China of “using maritime militia to intimidate, provoke, and threaten other nations, undermining regional peace and security.” Beijing denied that the ship was part of the maritime militia.
Duterte has been accused of fostering friendly relations with Beijing since taking office in 2016 and not immediately demanding China’s compliance with an international arbitration ruling that effectively invalidates Beijing’s historic claim to the entire South China Sea. There is. China has refused to accept the 2016 ruling, called “fake,” and continues to ignore it.