The coast guard revealed on Saturday that they've sent a ship to Sabina Shoal, where they suspect China of constructing an artificial island. They've also mentioned that two other ships are rotating in the area for surveillance.

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Since the ship's arrival in mid-April, the coast guard has found dead and crushed coral dumped on the sandbars of Sabina Shoal, changing their shape and height.

PCG spokesperson Jay Tarriela emphasized on Monday that they must stop China from reclaiming land at Sabina Shoal. The Coast Guard is committed to staying present at the shoal, known as Escoda by the Philippines.

Sabina Shoal falls within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and serves as a meeting point for ships delivering supplies to Filipino troops stationed on a grounded warship at Second Thomas Shoal. Tensions between Manila and Beijing are frequent in this area.

China has built military facilities on some islands in the South China Sea through extensive land reclamation, causing concern among neighboring countries and the United States.

Tarriela believes that the Coast Guard's presence has deterred China from carrying out small-scale reclamation at Sabina Shoal. Since the deployment of their response vessel in mid-April, they haven't observed any activity from Chinese vessels.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila hasn't responded to Tarriela's comments. However, they've reiterated their claim over the South China Sea and adjacent waters.

China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea, conflicting with claims from the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China's claims, a decision that China disregards.