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Chinese militia vessels anchored on reef. Picture taken March 7, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/National Task Force-West Philippine Sea/Handout via REUTERS.

Some of the about 220 Chinese militia vessels reported by the Philippine Coast Guard, and believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, are pictured anchored at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea, March 7, 2021. Picture taken March 7, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/National Task Force-West Philippine Sea/Handout via REUTERS.

Philippines Sees Resurgence Of Chinese Ships In Disputed Waters

Bloomberg
Total Views: 13568
September 16, 2023

By Ian Sayson

Sep 16, 2023 (Bloomberg) –The Philippine armed forces said it’s doubling efforts on maritime surveillance after detecting a “resurgence” of Chinese vessels around the West Philippine Sea.

After the military successfully drove away 50 Chinese militia vessels in July, such vessels returned late August after its patrols left the area, the armed forces said in a statement. There was also “massive harvesting” of corals in disputed waters, it said.

The two countries are locked in an ongoing territorial dispute in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea, where other nations in Southeast Asia also have claims. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ramped up protests over China’s actions in the waters since he took power last year.

There was a period of time when there was no “swarming” because of the military presence, but weather and limited resources forced troops to leave the area. Massive illegal harvesting of corals in the area is suspected based on underwater surveys conducted by Philippine Navy divers, according to the statement.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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