MANILA — More Chinese ships are found on areas claimed by the country in the West Philippine Sea, according to President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday.
Aquino told reporters during his speech at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Manila that he has seen photos of the ships that may be used for reclamation near Gaven and Calderon.
He added that he was bothered that “there seems to be developments in other areas within the disputed seas.”
“We’re not saying that they are exactly the same ships that were used in Mabini [Reef], but they seem to be similar ships,” Aquino said in a statement made a day after the Permanent Court of Arbitration, a court backed by the united Nations, ordered Beijing to respond to Manila’s complaint.
The Philippines earlier made a compliant in the said court regarding the illegally occupied areas in the South China Sea.
China, however, said in a statement that it will reject the ruling and will not participate in the arbitration proceedings.
Aquino has been urging Beijing to take part in the arbitration process saying that it is a part of their responsibility under a signed treaty in the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Despite this, China maintains its “historical and indisputable claim” and has attempted to pressure Manila into withdrawing from the international legal process.
With reports from Kimberly Jane Tan