The Philippines is protesting China’s alleged construction activities on a reef also claimed by Manila in the Spratlys archipelago of the South China Sea, officials said on Wednesday.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government sent a diplomatic protest to Beijing last month against Chinese activities on the Johnson Reef.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the issue was also raised by President Benigno Aquino during a summit of the leaders of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the weekend.
The Philippine claim on the reef has been included in its case before a UN arbitration tribunal.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose said earlier that China has been moving earth and materials to Johnson South Reef, known as Chigua by the Chinese and Mabini by Filipinos, in recent weeks.
He said China was reclaiming land and apparently building an airstrip in violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, an informal pact between ASEAN and China.