China asked to remove vessels by Philippines in disputed South China Sea

The Philippine government said Wednesday that more than 250 Chinese vessels it believes are operated by militia have been spotted near six Manila-claimed islands and reefs in the disputed South China Sea and demanded that China immediately remove them.

The gathering of the Chinese-flagged vessels, along with four Chinese navy ships at a Chinese-occupied manmade island base, “is hazardous to navigation and safety of life at sea” and may damage coral reefs and threaten the Philippines’ sovereign rights, a government body overseeing the disputed waters said.

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