Philippines accuses China anew of flaring tensions
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is accusing China of sending more government and fishing vessels to a contested shoal in the South China Sea despite ongoing talks to resolve the 2-month-old standoff.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez says that the number of Chinese vessels at Scarborough Shoal increased to 96 on Tuesday. They include four government ships and fishing and utility boats. He said Wednesday that the Philippines has only two vessels in the area, which both countries claim.
The Chinese Embassy did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Hernandez says that despite China's fishing ban, Chinese vessels were observed fishing and collecting protected corals.
The Philippines has separately imposed its own ban on fishing in the area.