The Philippines has reiterated its demand for numerous Chinese vessels spotted in various reefs in the West Philippine Sea to leave the area.
A Philippine military plane patrolling the West Philippine Sea this week reported to have spotted scores of Chinese vessels at several reefs within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) issued a statement on Wednesday demanding that China “immediately withdraw these vessels flying its flag.”
“The NTF-WPS reiterates its assertion of Philippine sovereignty, and sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the [Kalayaan Island Group] and [WPS], and expresses deep concern over the continuing unlawful presence (swarming) of the Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM), which did not pull out and have remained in Julian Felipe Reef and are now in other areas of the Kalayaan Island Group in the municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan,” the task force said in a statement.
Besides the 44 Chinese vessels at Julian Felipe Reef on Monday, more than 100 such vessels were spotted at other reefs, which form part of the Philippines’ Kalayaan Island Group.
Also, four Chinese Navy ships were also seen at Panganiban Reef, now a military outpost of China in the country’s territorial waters.