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Philippines says China may be building airstrip at disputed reef

Published on May 14, 2014 2:14 PM

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines warned on Wednesday that China may be building an airstrip on a reef in the South China Sea as the Asian superpower asserts its claim to most of the strategic area.

Filipino military surveillance aircraft have been documenting large-scale earthmoving activity on Chinese-held Johnson South Reef since January, the defence department said.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters the Philippines had filed a diplomatic protest against China's reclamation works on the reef last month, but Beijing rejected it on grounds that the reef is part of Chinese territory.

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