China has deployed two more government vessels to the disputed waters, amidst a month-long standoff with the Philippines, to “strengthen” control in the area, Xinhua News Agency has said.

The Philippine foreign department released the current numbers, five Chinese government vessels and 16 fishing boats. Raul Hernandez, department spokesman, issued a protest to the Chinese embassy, demanding the vessels to leave “the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone”.

Both countries claim the Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Islands, and each sent a  presence of maritime vessels after previous a confrontation between Chinese fishermen and the Philippine coastguard. China and the Philippines have vowed to de-escalate tensions and resort to diplomacy in resolving the dispute. They also imposed separate fishing bans in the area. Talks are on-going regarding the dispute, while both countries are showing signs of military build-up and exchanges.