Philippines sets buoys in parts of South China Sea to

Philippines sets buoys in parts of South China Sea to assert sovereignty – Portal

MANILA, May 14 (Portal) – The Philippines has placed navigation buoys in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to assert sovereignty over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, a Coast Guard spokesman said on Sunday.

The move comes amid China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea as Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. seeks closer ties with his contractor, the United States.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said it deployed five national flag buoys in five areas within the 200-mile (322 km) zone from May 10 to 12, including at Whitsun Reef, where hundreds of Chinese seagoing vessels docked in 2021.

“This move underscores the Philippines’ steadfast determination to protect its maritime borders and resources and to contribute to the security of maritime trade,” Commodore Jay Tarriela, the Coast Guard spokesman for South China Sea issues, said on Twitter.

The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In May 2022, the Coast Guard installed five navigation buoys on four islands in the Spratlys.

China’s claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea was overturned by an international tribunal in 2016.

Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims in the Spratlys, where China has dredged sand to build islands on reefs and outfit them with missiles and airstrips.

Beijing has stationed hundreds of coast guards and fishing vessels in disputed areas for years.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Edited by Clarence Fernandez

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