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Chinese Embassy in Manila calls CSIS report on severe reef damage in South China Sea “false” and “concocted”
Chinese Embassy in Manila calls CSIS report on severe reef damage in South China Sea “false” and “concocted”
Chinese Embassy in Manila calls CSIS report on severe reef damage in South China Sea “false” and “concocted”
by Karen Ow-Yong24 February 2024
Courtesy of Chinese Embassy in Manila

MANILA – The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines balked at the results of a latest study done by a U.S. think tank showing that Chinese fishers were responsible for the severe destruction of reefs in the South China Sea due to massive dredging and big clam harvesting.

In a statement released by the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Saturday, Spokesperson Counselor Ji Lingpeng said that the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) “concocted” the report saying it is “false” and based their findings solely on “a few satellite images”.

In the same statement, Counselor Ji said that CSIS was “stirring falsified allegations from years ago.”

“Such a report is neither factual nor verifiable. Why are they so obsessed with harping on the same string? Though probably at their wit’s end, they still have ulterior motives,” Ji added.


The official emphasized that they value the protection of the ecological environment of what China calls Nansha Islands and reefs and their adjacent waters, as well as carry out environmental protection and monitoring work in accordance with domestic and international law.

Counselor Ji adds that “it is hoped that relevant parties will respect the facts and not be misled by untruthful media tactics.”

Earlier this week, CSIS revealed in a press briefing that the research, entitled ““Deep Blue Scars: Environmental Threats to the South China Sea” showed that there is an estimated 21,000 acres of reef were damaged due to dredging and big clam harvesting by Chinese fishers, after it conducted a year-long study using commercial satellite imagery on 181 occupied and unoccupied features in the area.

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CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative Research Associate Monica Sato said that states dredge to “really to build their outposts and maritime entitlements in the South China Sea and to support their sovereignty claims as well.”

In the same briefing, CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative Director Gregory B. Poling asserts that the only way to stop these activities “is to convince Bejing to stop”.

Poling adds, “We need to see an international coalition starting with Southeast Asia led by the claimants to better survey this damage, account for it, and hopefully negotiate some joint marine scientific research and fisheries management regimes among the Southeast Asian claimants.”

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