Marie Harf, US Department of State deputy spokesperson said, “We are aware of reports that China is reclaiming land at a disputed reef in the South China Sea. Major upgrades or the militarization of disputed land features in the South China Sea by any claimant has the potential to raise tensions. That’s why we think that all parties to the Declaration on the Code of Parties in the South China Sea should fully and effectively implement the DOC, especially with regard to exercising self-restraint and the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes. And recent incidents highlight the need for claimants to be transparent about their respective activities in disputed areas.”
It was reported that China is putting up an airstrip in the Mabini Reef. When asked about China’s comment on the recent report, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands including Chigua (Mabini/Johnson) Reef and the contiguous waters. Whatever construction China carries out in the Chigua Reef is completely within China’s sovereignty.”
On the Philippine side Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, “These actions are considered destabilizing and in violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).”
Mabini Reef was armed by Chinese government with anti-aircraft artillery and machine guns making it as a military outpost.