In the latest news on the South China Sea dispute, Philippines has reiterated concerns over China’s presence and influence in the South China Sea. A Philippine Air Force aircraft patrolling near the South China Sea was sent radio signals and warned by Chinese PLA against its presence in the region. The aircraft was asked to leave and stay away from the region to avoid any misunderstandings.
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As reported by the SCMP, the Philippines has expressed serious concerns over an increased number of warnings to its planes and ships to stay away from the islands fortified by China.
There has been a great surge in radio signals sending out warnings to patrolling aircraft against their presence over the disputed South China Sea. Islands and other territories in the South China Sea are claimed by both China and Philippines.
As featured in a report by the Philippines government, in the second half of last year, its aircraft patrolling the region were warned at least 46 times. The report also states that in January a Philippine aircraft carrying surveillance in the area received radio messages which were offensive in nature. The planes from the Philippine air force have been warned of dire consequences several times which speaks of China’s alarming influence and arrogance in the region.
Recently, China transformed seven highly disputed reefs into artificial islands and since then radio signals coming from these reefs are triggering new concerns. These islands are in the vicinity of the islands occupied by the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. China has built these artificial islands using dredged sand and has installed high tech military equipment there.
These warnings earlier used to be sent from the Chinese coast guard ships but now it is suspected that these radio signals are issued from the newly built artificial islands. These islands apparently also have a surface to air missiles (SAM) installed on them.