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Philippines releases photos showing China reef ‘reclamation’

Published on May 15, 2014 1:32 PM

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines released photographs on Thursday to back its claim that China was reclaiming land on a disputed reef in the South China Sea in an apparent effort to build an airstrip.  

Manila warned on Wednesday that China may be building an airstrip on the Chinese-held Johnson South Reef – claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam – boosting the superpower’s claim to most of the strategic Asian waters.  

A series of photographs released by the foreign department Thursday appeared to show large-scale reclamation in stages. The latest photograph dated March 11, 2014 appears to show a large light-coloured landfill, surrounded by shallow turquoise waters.  

“This series of photographs... from Philippine intelligence sources, shows in stages the extensive reclamation by China on Mabini Reef (Johnson South Reef),” the foreign department said in a statement.  

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