Author Topic: Chinese Militia Vessels Departing Contested South China Sea Reef  (Read 958 times)

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Chinese Militia Vessels Departing Contested South China Sea Reef
Over 200 Chinese ships occupied Whitsun Reef for several weeks. Only a handful remain.

Steven Stashwick
By Steven Stashwick
April 15, 2021

https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/chinese-militia-vessels-departing-contested-south-china-sea-reef/

In mid-March, the Philippines discovered that a reef in its exclusive economic zone was being occupied by scores of nearly identical Chinese fishing vessels, later determined to be part of China’s shadowy, para-military maritime militia. Their presence sparked fears that China could be making a move to seize effective control over a new feature in the hotly disputed South China Sea.

According to the Philippines’ secretary of foreign affairs, only a handful of Chinese militia vessels remained at Whitsun Reef as of April 13.

Called the Julian Felipe Reef by the Philippines and Niu’e Jiao by China, Whitsun Reef is 170 nautical miles west of Palawan in the northern part of the Spratly Islands, where China has built up several large artificial islands on formerly submerged reefs and constructed major military installations.

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