The Philippines’ Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that China is looking to occupy more regions in the the South China Sea.
The continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy [areas] in the West Philippine Sea,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement, using the local name for the South China Sea.
The Philippines government has said that that more than 250 Chinese vessels it believes are operated by militia have been spotted near six Manila-claimed islands and reefs in the disputed Spartly islands of the South China Sea and demanded that China immediately remove them. The gathering of the Chinese-flagged vessels, along with four Chinese navy ships at a Chinese-occupied manmade island base, “is hazardous to navigation and safety of life at sea” and may damage coral reefs and threaten the Philippines’ sovereign rights, a government body overseeing the disputed waters said.
South East AsiaWORLD