China’s reclamation in West PH Sea 50 % done, says AFP chief
MANILA, Philippines – The military has expressed alarm over the progress of China’ reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“About 50 percent na tapos na sila. It’s alarming in the sense that it could be used for purposes other than peaceful use,” AFP chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
“Mayroong isang nire-reclaim na mahaba-haba, about 1 point something or 2 kilometers. Di pa siya developed as an airfield, pero at that span it could be,” he said.
He did not identify however which areas in the disputed seas were being reclaimed.
The Philippines has a pending case in the international court over the sea dispute.
Reclamation activities were reported in recent months in Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratlys).
Last May, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin also said reclamation activities were observed in Mabini Reef (Johnson South Reef).
Both are within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Chinese ships continued to be observed in Panatag Shoal (Scarborough) off Zambales, said Catapang.
The AFP chief’s statements came after the military leadership held a command conference at Camp Aguinaldo where they discussed the overall security situation in the country.
“We continue to monitor what’s happening in the West Philippine Sea; we are appraised on the situation. We know there is still ongoing reclamation,” he said.