The Armed Forces of the Philippines has reported intrusions in the disputed Spratly Islands by Chinese naval forces which was spotted in one of the islands located within Philippine territory
The intrusions by the Chinese military has been reported in the last few days even as top Chinese officials are in the country for bilateral talks.
Spratly is a groups of small islands and atolls said to have enormous oil deposits which are being claimed in part by neighboring Brunei, Malaysia, China, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The Chinese vessel which was photographed by Philippine military were seen unloading construction materials and equipment. They have also erected an undetermined number of posts, and placed a buoy near the breaker of the Iroquois Bank, which is located well within the Philippine territory.
"Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario said Wednesday that any new construction by China in waters that are also claimed by the Philippines is a clear violation of a 2002 accord that calls for countries to exercise restraint", Inquirer.net reports.
"The Philippine military has reported that Chinese ships were seen unloading building materials and erecting posts in the vicinity of the Spratly islands’ Iroquois Bank, which is 125 miles (200 kilometers) from southwestern Palawan province'. the report added.
"China earlier said it was ready for an “accelerated” dialogue with the Philippines to end the dispute in the South China Sea but Beijing neither confirmed nor denied setting up military garrisons and outposts within Philippine-claimed territory in the Spratly Islands" , Philstar.com reports.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has summoned Tuesday the Chinese charge d’affaires to protest sightings of Chinese Navy vessels erecting posts at the West Philippine Sea.
No explanation of the incident was issued by the Chinese Embassy in Manila.