China says its reported build up in Spratlys is ‘fake news’
MANILA, Philippines — China is dismissing its reported development activities in the Spratly Islands – one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea – as “fake news.”
Reporters sought comments from the Chinese Embassy in Manila regarding a Bloomberg news article claiming that China is “building up several unoccupied land features in the South China Sea.”
The Spratly Islands is being claimed wholly and in part by several countries, including the Philippines.
“Fake news,” the Chinese Embassy told reporters in a message.
The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said it is “seriously concerned” over China’s alleged development activities in the area.
It asked concerned government agencies to verify and validate the Bloomberg report “as such activities contravene the Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea’s undertaking on self-restraint and the 2016 Arbitral Award.”
The 2016 Arbitral Award favors the Philippines as the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.
READ: PH wins arbitration case over South China Sea
The PCA ruled that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea.
READ: China’s ‘nine-dash line, historic rights’ invalid – tribunal
Earlier, the Department of National Defense aired “great concern” on the “swarming” of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines so far lodged 193 diplomatic protests against China this year.
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