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Philippines accuses China of reclaiming land in disputed reef in South China Sea

The Philippines says it has protested to Beijing over China's efforts to reclaim land in a disputed reef in the South China Sea that could be used to build different facilities, including an airstrip or an offshore military base in the increasingly volatile region.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told The Associated Press Wednesday that the Philippines lodged the protest against China last month after surveillance aircraft confirmed and took pictures of the reclamation and dredging being done by Chinese vessels at Johnson Reef in the Spratly Islands, which Manila says violates a regional non-aggression pact.

Del Rosario says it's not clear what China will build on the reef, which Manila claims, but one possibility is an airstrip. Another official says China could also build an off-shore military base.