China has stationed up to five ships around a disputed island in the South China Sea, blocking Philippine fishermen.
The report comes from The Philippine Star newspaper in its Wednesday edition.
China recently sent ships to the Quirino Atoll, also known as Jackson Atoll, the paper reported.
Eugenio Bito-onon Jr. is a mayor on the Spratly Islands. He told the Star that Chinese ships docked at the atoll more than a month ago.
Chinese boats chased Philippine fishermen from the atoll’s shores, the paper said.
Filipino fishing boats that were sprayed with water by Chinese Coastguard are pictured while anchored at shorelines of the coastal town of Infanta, Pangasinan in northern Philippines April 22, 2015.
The paper quoted an unnamed fisherman, saying, “These gray and white Chinese ships, around four of them inside the lagoon, prevented us from entering our traditional fishing ground.”
The Philippine military said it has tracked Chinese ships, too.
China claims most of the South China Sea. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim parts of the sea.
About $5 trillion in trade is shipped through the sea every year.
The Philippines is awaiting a ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague on the South China Sea territorial dispute.
I’m Mario Ritter.
The Reuters news service reported on this story. Jim Dresbach adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
stationed – v. to assign someone to a position
atoll – n. an island that is made of coral and shaped like a ring
arbitration – n. a process of settling an argument or disagreement in which the people or groups on both sides present their opinions and ideas to a third person or group