Compiled by Rosa Tran
8 September 2016
The Philippines on September 7 released photos to back its claims that China had secretly begun work to cement control over a crucial shoal in the hotly contested South China Sea.
The Philippines said the images showed Chinese ships at the shoal last weekend that were capable of dredging sand and other activities required to build an artificial island, according to a AFP report posted on Inquirer.net.
“We have reason to believe that their presence is a precursor to building activities on the shoal,” defence department spokesman Arsenio Andolong told AFP in a text message.
“We are continuing our surveillance and monitoring of their presence and activities, which are disturbing.”
China, at a regular briefing on September 5, reportedly denied that it had begun building an artificial island at the shoal and cautioned the Philippines not to “hype up” their maritime dispute.
“The Chinese side has maintained the patrol by coastguard vessels in relevant waters and there have also been some fishing boats for fishing operations in the relevant waters and the situation have always been like that, and has not changed,” said Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman.
The reported statement, however, could not be found in the transcript of the press conference posted on the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Philippines Worried, Says More Chinese Boats Spotted at Scarborough Shoal: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/philippines-worried-says-more-chinese-boats-spotted-at-scarborugh-shoal/
Facts on the Ground and on the Waters: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/south-china-sea-facts-on-the-ground-and-on-the-waters/
The South China Sea Dialogues: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/events-and-analyses/the-south-china-sea-dialogues/