US

Filipino official: Surveillance photos show China's reclamation in disputed reefs now massive

  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, right, shakes hands with Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Evan P. Garcia, second from right, after their press conference on the fifth Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Garcia said surveillance photographs have shown that China's reclamation of contested reefs in the South China China has assumed a "massive" scale, with Beijing continuing its expansion in disputed territories despite past protests. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, right, shakes hands with Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Evan P. Garcia, second from right, after their press conference on the fifth Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Garcia said surveillance photographs have shown that China's reclamation of contested reefs in the South China China has assumed a "massive" scale, with Beijing continuing its expansion in disputed territories despite past protests. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel gestures during a press conference with his Philippine counterpart on the fifth Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Russel and a Philippine official said that their countries have separately urged Beijing to stop activities that ignite tensions and violate a 2002 accord designed to prevent armed conflicts over contested islands and reefs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel gestures during a press conference with his Philippine counterpart on the fifth Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Russel and a Philippine official said that their countries have separately urged Beijing to stop activities that ignite tensions and violate a 2002 accord designed to prevent armed conflicts over contested islands and reefs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

A Philippine official says surveillance photographs have shown that China's land reclamation in contested reefs in the South China Sea has become "massive" with Beijing continuing its expansion in disputed territories despite protests.

Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Evan Garcia and the top U.S. diplomat in East Asia, Daniel Russel, said in a news conference in Manila Wednesday that their countries have separately urged Beijing to stop activities that could worsen tensions and violate a 2002 accord designed to prevent armed conflicts over contested islands and reefs.

Garcia said: "It is massive, just look at the photographs." He says China's activities are designed to change the status quo.

The photographs were not immediately distributed to the media.

Russel and Garcia say their governments will only back a peaceful resolution of the disputes.