The Philippines accuses China of “swarming” a coral reef off its coast.
The Philippines and China have a long-standing territorial dispute.
Tensions between the two countries have been rising in recent years.
After more than 135 military vessels were seen in the South China Sea, the Philippines accused China of “swarming” a coral off its coast.
The coast guard claims that Whitsun Reef is within its exclusive economic zone and that the boats were “dispersed and scattered” around it.
They described it as “alarming” how frequently these military boats were showing up.
China, the Philippines, and other nations are engaged in a territorial dispute that centers on the South China Sea.
Around 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Palawan Island, Whitsun Reef—also known as Julian Felipe Reef in the Philippines—is located more than 1,000 kilometers from Hainan Island, the closest significant Chinese mainland.
From 111 in November, the Philippines Coast Guard said that there were now more Chinese maritime militia vessels in the region. China has not responded at all.
Since Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was elected president of the Philippines last year, tensions between the two nations over opposing claims to sovereignty have grown.
The Philippines conducted two distinct joint air and sea patrols with the United States last week and a few days prior with Australia.
China’s claim to 90% of the South China Sea was declared void by an international tribunal in 2016, but Beijing has been constructing islands in the disputed waters since then and does not acknowledge the decision.
Additionally, the disputed waters have turned into a naval hotspot in US-China ties, and US President Joe Biden issued a warning in October stating that the US will defend the Philippines from any attack.
Days after two incidents in which Chinese and Filipino vessels collided in the waters, President Biden made his remarks.
A portion of the sea is also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
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