Chinese boats gather in Julian Felipe Reef

Chinese boats gather in Julian Felipe Reef

HomeABS-CBN, NewsChinese boats gather in Julian Felipe Reef
Chinese boats gather in Julian Felipe Reef
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) drone footage from Saturday (December 2) showed hundreds of Chinese maritime militia vessels gathering at a reef within the country’s economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.

The number of Chinese boats believed to be manned by militia personnel has increased to more than 135 from 111 in November, scattered within the Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls the Julian Felipe Reef, the PCG said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

The PCG has deployed two of its vessels after monitoring the /”alarming/” increase. The PCG’s report comes several days after the Philippines carried out joint air and sea patrols with the United States, which was followed by a similar undertaking with Australia in the South China Sea, fanning tension with Beijing.

The Philippines is ramping up efforts to counter what it describes as China’s /”aggressive activities/” in the South China Sea, which has also become a naval flashpoint for Chinese and U.S. tension. China has accused the Philippines of enlisting /”foreign forces/” to patrol the South China Sea and stirring up trouble. Manila insists its maritime activities are within its rights. —Report from Reuters

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