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Pictures | Tue Apr 6, 2021 | 8:36am EDT

Hundreds of Chinese ships massed in South China Sea

A view of one set of fishing vessels at Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, March 23. The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over a "swarming and threatening" presence of 220 Chinese vessels it believes to be manned by militias at Whitsun Reef.   


Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS

A view of one set of fishing vessels at Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, March 23. The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over a "swarming and threatening" presence of 220 Chinese vessels it believes to be manned by militias at Whitsun...more

A view of one set of fishing vessels at Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, March 23. The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over a "swarming and threatening" presence of 220 Chinese vessels it believes to be manned by militias at Whitsun Reef. Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS
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A satellite view of fishing vessels and Whitsun Reef, March 23. Chinese diplomats have said the boats anchored near the reef - numbering more than 200 based on initial intelligence gathered by Philippine patrols - were sheltering from rough seas and that no militia were aboard.  

Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS

A satellite view of fishing vessels and Whitsun Reef, March 23. Chinese diplomats have said the boats anchored near the reef - numbering more than 200 based on initial intelligence gathered by Philippine patrols - were sheltering from rough seas and...more

A satellite view of fishing vessels and Whitsun Reef, March 23. Chinese diplomats have said the boats anchored near the reef - numbering more than 200 based on initial intelligence gathered by Philippine patrols - were sheltering from rough seas and that no militia were aboard. Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS
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A view of fishing vessels anchored at Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls the Julian Felipe Reef, March 23.  2021 Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS

A view of fishing vessels anchored at Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls the Julian Felipe Reef, March 23. 2021 Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS

A view of fishing vessels anchored at Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls the Julian Felipe Reef, March 23. 2021 Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS
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Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea, March 27. The continued presence inside the Philippines' exclusive economic zone of hundreds of Chinese vessels that it believes are manned by militias has frustrated Manila and drawn concern from ally the United States, among others.    Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea, March 27. The continued presence inside the Philippines' exclusive economic zone of hundreds of Chinese vessels that it believes are manned by militias has frustrated Manila and drawn concern from...more

Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea, March 27. The continued presence inside the Philippines' exclusive economic zone of hundreds of Chinese vessels that it believes are manned by militias has frustrated Manila and drawn concern from ally the United States, among others. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS
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Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, March 27.  Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, March 27. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, March 27. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS
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Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, March 27. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, March 27. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, March 27. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS
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Some of the approximately 220 Chinese vessels reported by the Philippine Coast Guard, and believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, at Whitsun Reef, March 7.   Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Some of the approximately 220 Chinese vessels reported by the Philippine Coast Guard, and believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, at Whitsun Reef, March 7. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS

Some of the approximately 220 Chinese vessels reported by the Philippine Coast Guard, and believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, at Whitsun Reef, March 7. Philippine Coast Guard/via REUTERS
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