Tensions have mounted since two Chinese surveillance ships rescued Chinese fishermen who said they were harassed by Philippine warships six weeks ago, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported Thursday.
Chinese officials also said Manila sent military reinforcements to the Huangyan Island area.
The Philippine government has asked China to agree to take the dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea for arbitration and urged other countries to "consider what China is endeavoring to do" on the island and "take a stand" on China's actions, Xinhua said.
Several countries have conflicting claims of oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea. China and Taiwan claim nearly all of the South China Sea while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam exert claims on parts near their shores. The dispute has occasionally flared into violence in the past four decades, and in recent months the Philippines and Vietnam complained of Chinese vessels encroaching on their territory.
Xinhua said the move was an attempt by the Philippines to claim Huangyan Island and surrounding waters and that Manila's claim was groundless.
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