Chinese Coast Guard ships, militia vessels spotted in Panatag Shoal — PCG

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — Four Chinese Coast Guard ships have been spotted in the vicinity of Panatag Shoal during an aerial surveillance conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday.

"During the said overflight, the PCG monitored four China Coast Guard vessels — two inside and two outside the (Panatag Shoal)," the agency said in a statement.

The PCG said it has also monitored two more Chinese militia vessels on waters outside the shoal’s vicinity.

No challenge was made between the two nations' coast guards during the process, it added.

The Panatag Shoal is located west of Zambales and lies within the Philippines' 200- nautical mile exclusive economic zone. China has repeatedly insisted its "sovereignty" over the shoal, which it refers to as Huangyan Dao.

Meanwhile, the PCG also reported that around 30 to 40 Filipino fishing boats were seen in the area during the surveillance. It encouraged more local fisherfolk to ply the route.