China to PH: What 92 ships?

China insisted it only has 20 fishing vessels in the disputed Scarborough Shoal after the Philippine government protested the supposed presence of up to 92 Chinese vessels in the area. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told a press conference that the number of fishing boats in the area – 20 – is roughly the same as in previous years. Earlier, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine Coast Guard has monitored at least 16 Chinese fishing vessels and 76 utility boats in Scarborough Shoal as of May 22. Utility boats, which Hong did not include in the count he released, usually operate alongside bigger fishing vessels.

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