Beijing is depositing “human excrement” in contested seas in the South China Sea, which can be seen from orbit.
China has been accused of “dropping human excrement” in the South China Sea, which can be seen from space thanks to satellite photographs.
China maintains a continual presence of coastguard and fishing vessels in the South China Sea to assert its sovereignty claim, including hundreds in the Spratly Islands, which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Simularity, an AI-based satellite image analysis startup, released satellite photographs from the past five years on Monday, claiming that the damage was caused by untreated human waste from Chinese ships.
“While we are confirming and verifying these wastes being dumped,” Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
“We believe that such irresponsible conduct, if genuine, would be extremely harmful to the area’s marine biodiversity.
“Despite the fact that states in the South China Sea have competing claims and interests, all nations must be responsible custodians of our natural resources and environment.”
Liz Derr, co-founder and CEO of Simularity, warned the trash might endanger fish species during a seminar on Monday.
“It’s so intense you can see it from space,” Mr Derr remarked.
When contacted by the media for comment on Simularity’s story, the Chinese embassy in Manila did not answer quickly.
In recent months, the Philippines has become more vociferous over the presence of hundreds of vessels that it believes to be Chinese maritime militias.
It comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the US condemns China’s “illegal” maritime claims in the South China Sea and stands with Southeast Asian countries experiencing Chinese “coercion.”
Blinken’s remarks, which he delivered in a video conference with foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), were deemed irresponsible and intended to cause conflict by China.
Blinken also expressed the US’s “grave concern” about the situation in Myanmar, urging the country’s leaders to take measures to cease bloodshed and restore democracy.
The meeting with the ten-member bloc, which includes Myanmar, is the first since Biden took office in January, and it comes amid concerns among diplomats and others that Washington has not been paying enough attention to a region that is critical to its strategy to counter an increasingly assertive China.
Since a February 1 coup that threw Myanmar into chaos, ASEAN has been leading the main diplomatic effort on the country.
Myanmar’s regime has showed little sign of paying attention to what has been said. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”