© Feng Yu china
© Feng Yu

UPDATE 2: Reuters reports on 4 April that:

– “The Philippines’ defence chief said on Sunday China was looking to occupy more areas in the South China Sea, citing the continued presence of Chinese vessels that Manila believes are manned by militias in disputed parts of the strategic waterway.

– “The continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy (areas) in the West Philippine Sea,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement, using the local name for the South China Sea.

– It was the second hostile statement by Lorenzana in two days… more here.

Now read this: “Defense chief Lorenzana, China in rare word war“.

And this: “Year of unusually high US activity noted in South China Sea“.

UPDATE 1: The South China Morning Post reports on 3 April: “Philippines repeats call for Chinese ships to leave Whitsun Reef

– The country’s defence minister Delfin Lorenzana said he was ‘no fool’ after Beijing claimed the vessels were sheltering from the wind

– Manila has said the ships are being used as a ‘militia’ in the South China Sea

In late March, Reuters reported – in a story headed “Philippines sends fighter aircraft over Chinese vessels in South China Sea”– that:

The Philippine military is sending light fighter aircraft to fly over hundreds of Chinese vessels in disputed waters in the South China Sea, its defence minister said, as he repeated his demand the flotilla be withdrawn immediately.

International concern is growing over what the Philippines has described as a “swarming and threatening presence” of more than 200 Chinese vessels that Manila believes were manned by maritime militia.


The Philippine military aircraft were sent daily to monitor the situation, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement late on Saturday.

Lorenzana said the military will also beef up its naval presence in the South China Sea to conduct “sovereignty patrols” and protect Filipino fishermen.

“Our air and sea assets are ready to protect our sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Lorenzana said.

To read the full story, please click here.

Our Premium coverage earlier this week: “Sailing (or not) from Ever Given to the China hustle“.

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