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Philippines protests China ‘swarming’ around disputed reef

SpaceWar.com reports: “The Philippines has protested the ‘illegal’ presence of over a hundred Chinese boats around a disputed reef in the flashpoint South China Sea, describing it as a source of regional instability, the government said.

Authorities spotted the boats around the boomerang-shaped Whitsun Reef in April — a year after a similar ‘swarming’ incident caused a diplomatic row — but the foreign office waited till Thursday to disclose it had launched a formal complaint with the Chinese embassy in Manila.

Manila and Beijing have long been locked in a dispute over parts of the South China Sea, almost all of which China insists it has exclusive rights to, rejecting a 2016 international tribunal ruling that its historical claims were without basis.

‘The lingering unauthorised presence of Chinese fishing and maritime vessels is not only illegal, but is also a source of instability in the region,’ the Department of Foreign Affairs said…”

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