“The department’s spokesman, Charles Jose, said that: “China’s massive reclamation activities are causing irreversible and widespread damage to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the South China Sea.
“The destruction of 300 acres of coral reef systems resulting from the reclamations is estimated to lead to economic losses to coastal states valued at 100 million dollars annually,’’ the statement said.
Manila also accused Beijing of tolerating “environmentally harmful fishing practices” by Chinese vessels in Scarborough Shoal, another disputed area in the South China Sea.
The Philippines has filed an arbitration case before the UN challenging Beijing’s nine-dash line, which marked its territorial claims over nearly the entire the South China Sea.
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Other countries with overlapping claims to the sea are Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
China has always instated that the reclamation was to for civilian and defence purposes, describing it as legitimate, sensible and lawful. (dpa/NAN)