11:10 GMT +313 December 2019
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    This island is near or part of Spartlys group of islands, currently being disputed by several countries, including China, Vietnam, the Philppines, and Malaysia.

    Philippine Plane Fired On Over Disputed Islands in South China Sea

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    According to media reports, a Philippine plane was fired upon over a Chinese-controlled area of the disputed Spratly Island.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) A Philippine plane was fired upon over a Chinese-controlled area of the disputed Spratly Island, the fourth largest island in the Spratly Islands archipelago, local media reported on Thursday.

    The plane in question was a civilian medical evacuation flight bound for Thitu Island, the largest of Philippine-controlled naturally occurring Spratly Islands, Philippine People’s Television reported on its Twitter page.

    The Philippine military is investigating the report, the broadcaster added in another Tweet.

    China’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, potentially rich in significant oil and gas reserves, contradict those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

    China has recently intensified construction works on the reefs it controls around the disputed Spratly Island archipelago in the South China Sea. Satellite images released in mid-February show that since last March, China has built an artificial island covering some 75,000 square yards on the reefs.

    According to US Department of State, China’s development activities are feeding suspicions that Beijing aims to establish military bases in the region.

    Last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said construction on reefs that China controls near the disputed island, are lawful and pose no threat to other countries.

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    attack, plane, Spratly Islands, China
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