The Guardian: South China Sea: alarm in Philippines as 200 Chinese vessels gather at disputed reef
Mon March, 2021, Age: 3 years
220 Chinese vessels were seen at anchor in the area of the Whitsun reef in the South China Sea. The Whitsun reef is claimed by both the Philippines and China. Images of the Chinese ships were recently released by a government watchdog agency, prompting the Philippines to demand that the Chinese ships leave the area. “We call on the Chinese to stop this incursion and immediately recall these boats violating our maritime rights and encroaching into our sovereign territory,” said Philippines’ defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana. While the Chinese ships appear to be fishing vessels, it has long been theorized that Chinese fishing fleets are manned by maritime militias and that they are enlisted to bolster China’s wide ranging territorial claims in the South China Sea.