MANILA, Philippines — The Washington based think-tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) has reported that China continues with its reclamation activities in Paracel Islands.
Based on its article posted on august 9, structures, infrastructures and facilities have been built in tree, north and middle islands.
AMTI said China has been intensifying its military capabilities in the Paracel Islands.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said these reports have to be verified.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said, “It would be best if these apparent evidence can be vetted for accuracy if only to preserve the trust and confidence that all disputants over the territory in South China/West Philippine Sea, North Natuna Seas need to have in each other moving forward.”
Abella believes the issue must be tackled in the next ASEAN summit.
“The continuing reclamation and militarization in the disputed waters, if the reports and photos from a Washington-based think tank are accurate, these can be taken up by the ASEAN in future discussions,” he said.
The presidential spokesperson also explained the recent statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano that there was no mention in the ASEAN joint communique on the reclamation and militarization in the South China Sea because China is allegedly not reclaiming anymore.
“He made that statement in context of Philippine claims, walang nire-reclaim ang (no reclamations are being made by) China regarding matters pertaining to us, patungkol sa atin. Pero yung katulad ng ibang (But concerning other) developments, that will have to be taken on the future ASEAN discussion,” said Secretary Abella. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
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