PH Spratlys work sparks China vessel buildup

  China deployed a large paramilitary force in the South China Sea late last year in an apparent response to the ongoing construction by the Philippines on Pagasa (Thitu) Island, new satellite images showed.   The Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (Amti) on Thursday said a handful of Chinese vessels had operated in the area between Zamora (Subi) Reef and Pagasa since July 2018, two months after the Philippines announced that it would repair the Pagasa runway.   "But their numbers increased to at least 24 on Dec. 3, just before the current construction operations began. Their numbers [reached] a high of 95 on Dec. 20 before...

Keep on reading: PH Spratlys work sparks China vessel buildup