PHILIPPINE NAVY CONFIRMS TWO CHINESE VESSELS SURVEYING RECTO BANK
Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Bacordo said at least two Chinese vessels have been surveying Recto Bank (Reed Bank) for at least a “week” already without the proper clearance.
Bacordo said they concluded that the vessels were surveying the area because they were moving at 3 knots or around 5.5 kilometers per hour.
Recto Bank is an underwater reef formation that belongs to the Philippines but is coveted by China because it is said to contain huge reserves of oil and natural gas in the West Philippine Sea.
China and the Philippines are currently in talks over a joint exploration for the West Philippine Sea. They started in October 2019, but talks have been delayed in 2020 because of the pandemic.