The Philippine military flies a Japanese donated patrol plane to a disputed reef area with China in the South China Sea.
According to Philippine military officials, the Scarborough action did not confront China's resistance to the reefs.
North Luzon Military Command of the Philippines, said the Beechcraft King Air C90 plane flew low to 240 meters above Scarborough. The plane saw the presence of nine Chinese ships, including four Chinese coastal vessels and four Filipino fishing boats.
Earlier this month, a US-derailed destroyer sailed near Scarborough to show freedom of navigation. The action sparked protests from China that said it would take the necessary measures to protect its territorial sovereignty. The USS Hopper ship sailed into the 12-mile-sea area of Scarborough without Chinese permission.
China controls Scarborough in 2012 after engaging in a dispute with Philippine ships. The small reef area is located about 200 kilometers from Luzon Island, the Philippines, and about 600 kilometers southeast of China. [ab/uh]