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PH Coast Guard maintains presence in WPS amid reclamation activities by China
PH Coast Guard maintains presence in WPS amid reclamation activities by China
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PH Coast Guard maintains presence in WPS amid reclamation activities by China
by Christhel Cuazon14 May 2024

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday, May 14 assured the public of its commitment to maintain its presence in the West Philippine Sea to prevent China from carrying out its reclamation activities at Escoda Shoal.

On Saturday, PCG said it deployed a ship to Sabina Shoal on the Spratly archipelago, where it accused China of building an artificial island, having documented what it said were piles of dead and crushed coral on the sandbars.

Speaking in a press conference on Monday, PCG spokesperson Jay Tarriela believes that PCG had been effective in deterring China from doing small-scale reclamation.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and has carried out extensive land reclamation on some islands, building military facilities, causing concern in Washington and the region.

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In response, China's foreign ministry on Monday dismissed Manila's latest accusation as "groundless and pure rumor".

"Recently, the Philippine side has repeatedly spread rumors, deliberately smeared China, and attempted to mislead the international community, which is futile," spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing.

He urged Manila to "return to the right track of properly settling maritime disputes through negotiation and consultation".

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in 2016 that Beijing's claims in the South China Sea, a vital waterway, had no basis under international law, a decision that China rejected.

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The Sabina Shoal is the rendezvous point for vessels resupplying Philippine troops stationed on a grounded warship at the Second Thomas Shoal, where Manila and Beijing have had frequent run-ins.

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