The Philippines and China have recently engaged in a tense exchange of words over the reported presence of more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels around Whitsun Reef, part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
The Philippines has called their presence a violation of international law and a derogation of its sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China's response is that these are civilian fishing boats sheltering from storms in traditional fishing grounds of Chinese fishermen.
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