The Philippine military is reporting the presence of two Chinese military surveillance vessels near the Philippine-occupied Ayungin Shoal in the disputed Spratly’s region, according to the Philippine Inquirer
The ships were reported to have taken up stations on about six nautical miles west of the shoal beginning May 7, according to the May 10 report.
A Philippine military spokesman confirmed with the Inquirer that it was monitoring the Chinese ships.
Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Reef, is a part of the municipality of Kalayaan. The area is near Mischief Reef, which was controlled by the Philippines until 1994, when China built a fortification on it.
The Spratlys, a chain of shoals and islands that are believed to contain important oil and gas reserves, are claimed in whole or part by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. China and Taiwan both base their claims in part on a centuries-old Chinese map.