The Philippine government lodged a diplomatic protest after Chinese troops seized fishing gear installed by Filipinos in the disputed territory in their latest territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
The State Department in Manila said the Philippine government had protested China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the contested sea.
The Philippines foreign department did not immediately provide other details about what it said was the illegal seizure of fishing equipment by the Chinese coast guard.
The device, locally called “payaos,” was seized in May after being installed by Filipino fishermen in the disputed Scarborough Shoal off the northwest coast of Zambales province.
China seized the shoals after tensions at sea in 2012.
Not only that, the Philippines also brought the dispute to international arbitration the following year.
A court in 2016 overturned China’s claim to nearly the entire South China Sea, but Beijing continues to ignore and challenge the ruling.
Radio alerts by Chinese forces of Philippine air force patrol planes have increased around missile-protected Chinese-made islands, Philippine officials said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China of taking advantage of the pandemic’s busy government to advance its territorial claims.
Last month, the US government rejected nearly all of Beijing’s South China Sea claims.
The US basically sided with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei in any of their territorial disputes with Beijing.
However, China responded by saying the US was trying to sow discord and meddle in Asia’s strife to flex its muscles and spark a confrontation.