A shoal located roughly 200 miles west of Manila in the South China Sea has become a point of contention between the Philippines and China after several concrete blocks were discovered there. The blocks, believed by the Philippine government to have been placed by Chinese naval forces in the area, are causing a resurgence in tensions between the Philippines and China, which initially arose when China’s seized the shoal in April of 2012. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hong Lei, made a statement on September 4, 2013, denying the claims made by the Philippines. He went on to assert that the shoal, called Huangyan Island in China, is part of China’s “inherent territory,” and that naval patrols are necessary to defend Chinese sovereignty. Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario stated that this kind of activity places the region in jeopardy in terms of peace and stability. (Jakarta Globe, September 3; Chinese Embassy press release, Reuters, September 4, 2013)