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No sign of China planning to build on Julian Felipe Reef — NSC

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 02:24 PM March 04, 2024

There have been recent sightings and incursions of Chinese militia vessels in the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea, Department of National Defense (DND) officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. said on Thursday.

A break in the clouds on Monday, March 22, 2021, shows some of the more than 200 Chinese vessels supposedly seeking shelter, according to the Chinese Embassy, at Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef in the West Philippine Sea. But the Philippine government and the US Embassy separately say these are Chinese maritime militia vessels and that the weather is fine. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — There is no indication, so far,  that China wants to build artificial islands in Julian Felipe (Whitson) Reef in the West Philippine Sea, said National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya on Monday. 

“Kung ang tanong ay may indikasyon ba na gusto magtayo ng artificial islands, as of now ay wala,” said Malaya during the Bagong Pilipinas public briefing.


(If the question is if there is an indication that they want to establish artificial islands, as of now, there is none.) 


China has continuously disregarded the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone by building artificial islands in different parts of the West Philippine Sea.  

“What we have seen is swarming ng mga barko ng Chinese Maritime Militia and some Chinese Coast Guard vessels. You know, to be perfectly honest about it, the swarming is sometimes the beginning of the building of the artificial islands in the area,” said Malaya.

Malaya, however,  said that should China build islands in the area, it is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the Philippines’ sovereignty. 

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. himself previously expressed concern on the Chinese artificial islands being built closer to Philippines’ mainland. 

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TAGS: China, West Philippine Sea

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