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Chinese, Filipino Ships Poised for Major South China Sea Confrontation

Satellite imagery of the South China Sea that reveals 30 Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels descending on Scarborough Shoal presumably intending to intercept a civilian Philippine resupply mission. Image via SeaLight at Stanford University.

Four China Coast Guard ships backed by 26 maritime militia vessels are heading toward the disputed Scarborough Shoal to block an estimated one hundred Philippine civilians from completing a resupply mission for compatriot fishers.

The volunteers are scheduled to arrive at the shoal on Tuesday to provide food, water, and other supplies to fishing crews in an operation that’s originally expected to last three days.

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