China’s militarization of West PH Sea almost complete – Report

Image from VOX
  • China has nearly completed militarization of islands in the West Philippine Sea
  • This was according to a recent report by Inquirer which obtained photos showing the latest development
  • Roque refused to confirm what the Philippines’ action would be in response to China’s massive buildup in the WPS

MANILA, Philippines  –  China is almost complete with the massive build up and militarization of the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea; this was according to a recent Inquirer report.

Citing sources, Inquirer said it has obtained satellite photos which showed that at least seven reefs in the contested territory occupied by Beijing are nearing completion and have been transformed into island fortresses.

The pictures were reportedly taken between June and December 2017 and were shown to former Kalayaan town mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr. who confirmed its authenticity.

“These photos are authentic. I flew with HBO before the elections in 2016. We got repeated warnings from the Chinese because we were circling over the islands. I see there are now additional vertical features,” Inquirer quoted him as saying.

Malacañang’s reaction

Reacting to the report, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted China may use the newly-built structures as a military base, whether the Philippines will like it or not.

 “If the Aquino administration was not able to do anything about these artificial islands, what do they want us to do?” said Roque.

“So, what do you want us to say? All that we could do is to extract a promise from China not to reclaim any new artificial islands,” he added.

Roque refused to confirm whether the Philippines is planning to file a diplomatic protest against China over the latest development.

“In the first place, it did not happen overnight. I think the previous administration must have filed also a protest, when it became apparent that they were going to be used as military bases,” he simply said, in an apparent attempt to avoid answering the question directly.