China has started construction activities in the waters off Zambales, within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told congressmen on Tuesday, September 3, that China has “concrete blocks” in Panatag (Scarborough), an obvious “prelude to construction.” Panatag Shoal is located 124 nautical miles from Zambales, within the country’s 200-NM exclusive economic zone. China claims most of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). The Philippine Navy maritime patrol aircraft monitors the area every 3 days. Gazmin showed congressmen pictures taken by the Philippine Navy as of August 31. He said it’s the first time the navy monitored concrete blocks. Gazmin said the Philippines can only file a protest at the moment.
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