China denies building artificial island on Scarborough Shoal; cautions PH not to ‘hype up’ maritime dispute

  • China denied building artificial island on Scarborough Shoal and cautioned the Philippines not to ‘hype up’ maritime dispute
  • President Rodrigo Duterte said he received an “unsettling” intelligence report showing China had sent barges to the contested area
  • Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said an air force plane saw four Chinese coastguard ships, two barge-like vessels, and two suspected troop ships near the shoal

China denied building an artificial island on Scarborough Shoal and cautioned the Philippines not to ‘hype up’ maritime dispute there; days after President Rodrigo Duterte said he had received an “unsettling” intelligence report disclosing that China sent barges to the contested area and had appeared to begin construction.

In an Agence France-Presse article that was posted on ABS-CBN News, it was disclosed Duterte has said he intends to ask Beijing — possibly at a regional summit in Laos — if they are reclaiming the shoal despite an international court ruling rejecting most of China’s claims in the resource-rich area. To note, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said a Philippine air force plane saw four Chinese coastguard ships, two barge-like vessels, and two suspected troop ships near the shoal on Saturday, September 3.

“The Chinese side has maintained the patrol by coastguard vessels in relevant waters and there have also been some fishing boats for fishing operations in the relevant waters and the situation have always been like that, and has not changed,” said Hua Chunying; a spokeswoman from Chinese foreign ministry.

The China official also cautioned the Philippines not to “hype up” the situation.

 

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