US official defends China over PH claim of new island-building

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ALARMING PRESENCE Chinese vessels are gathering at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, raising fears that China is building another artificial island just off Luzon. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

A US official said the United States had not detected any unusual Chinese presence and activity around Scarborough Shoal despite photos presented by the Philippines showing Chinese vessels at the site. The Chinese vessels which the Philippines said were capable of dredging was raising fears that China is building another artificial island just off Luzon. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

VIENTIANE, Laos — Beijing came under pressure at an Asian summit Wednesday over its “illegal” island-building in the South China Sea, after the Philippines produced photos it said showed fresh construction activity at a flashpoint shoal.

A US administration official questioned the Philippine’s claim, telling AFP the United States had not detected any unusual activity at Scarborough Shoal.

“Chinese Naval and Coast Guard presence in the vicinity of Scarborough Reef was within the levels we’ve observed there over the past several months,” the official said.

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/144265/us-official-defends-china-over-ph-claim-of-new-island-building#ixzz4JplEjxsg

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