The Chinese Foreign Ministry denies it built concrete facilities in the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal after the Philippines released photos of concrete blocks allegedly installed by China. Spokesman Hong Lei also calls the shoal, which China calls Huangyan Island, part of “China’s inherent territory.” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says the Philippines eyes using the reported installation of blocks in its case against China in an international tribunal hearing the claim over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Del Rosario says the Philippines will also file a diplomatic protest over the installations. On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told lawmakers China has installed “concrete blocks” in Panatag. He described it as an obvious “prelude to construction.”Based on a second reconnaissance flight by the Philippine Navy, China has placed at least 75 concrete blocks in the disputed shoal off Zambales.
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