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Ongoing Tensions at Shoal Amid U.S.-Philippines Naval Exercises

A Chinese coastguard vessel patrolling the Scarborough Shoal is glimpsed during a surveillance flight by Philippine forces in late September. Image: Ted Aljibe / AFP

The Philippine press is reporting that the Chinese coastguard is using rubber boats to control access to the contested Scarborough Shoal to Philippine fishing boats.

Henrelito Empoc, a spokesperson for a fishing group, said, “The Chinese coast guard is on standby outside, but the Chinese rubber boats are patrolling the area and preventing Filipino fishermen from entering the lagoon.” He added that the rubber boats tail Philippine vessels when they try to enter the fishing grounds around the shoal.

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