Wary Philippines says 200 Chinese vessels at disputed reef

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By JIM GOMEZ | AP
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1616293021492608800
Sun, 2021-03-21 05:37

MANILA: The Philippine government expressed concern after spotting more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels it believed were crewed by militias at a reef claimed by both countries in the South China Sea, but it did not immediately lodge a protest.
A government body overseeing the disputed region said late Saturday that about 220 Chinese vessels were seen moored at Whitsun Reef on March 7. It released pictures of the vessels lying side by side in one of the most hotly contested areas of the strategic waterway.

Chinese Maritime Militia vessels are massed at Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea in this photo posted on Facebook by the Philippines' Presidential Communications office.
Chinese Maritime Militia vessels are massed at Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea in this photo posted on Facebook by the Philippines' Presidential Communications office.
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