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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

WHILE FILIPINOS ARE BUSY OVER ELECTION, CHINESE NAVY SHIPS ARE OCCUPYING SOME OF THE CONTESTED AREA IN SPRATLY ISLANDS

China has stationed up to five ships around a disputed atoll in the South China Sea, preventing Filipino fishermen from accessing traditional fishing grounds, ABS-CBN and Philstar and other media in the Philippines reported on Wednesday.

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According to media reports, around 5 Chinese vessels at Quirino (Jackson) Atoll, one of the islands contested in the South China prevented some Filipino fishermen access for fishing grounds on Wednesday. The tensions are rising over Chinese reclamations in the area, as well as the build up of patrols and military. The mayor of the Kalayaan Island said there are many Chinese ships in the Spratly area.
Philippine Military however are still verifying these reports if Chinese ships are moving around Spratly area and if it is permanent as there are also ships around Second Thomas Shoal. Fishermen complained as well that Chinese ships chased them away last week when they went nearby to for fishing. They said around 4 gray and white bearing China or Chinese flag prevented them from entering the usually fishing ground for all. 
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"Tensions have been building recently, with the United States and others protesting against Beijing's land reclamations on islands and reefs, and the recent deployment of surface-to-air missiles and fighter jets in the Paracel Islands.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned China on Tuesday against what he called "aggressive" actions in the region, saying there would be "specific consequences" to militarization of the South China Sea.
Beijing, for its part, has been angered by "freedom of navigation" air and sea patrols the United States has conducted near the islands it claims in the South China Sea and says it needs military facilities for its self defense."

UPDATE

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