As a dispute over South China Sea territory threatens to boil over, a reporter plants the Chinese flag on the “island” at the centre of the row as Filipinos protest in Manila.
Footage aired by Chinese broadcaster Dragon TV showed Zhang Fan hoisting the flag during his report from Huangyan island as he explained the history of the long-standing territorial dispute between China and the Philippines.
Both countries claim the Scarborough Shoal, which is known as Panatag Shoal to Filipinos or Huangyan island to the Chinese.
Territorial rivalry has escalated over the small rocky outpost during the last month as the Philippines have attempted to scale back an expanding Chinese presence in the potentially oil-rich South China Sea.
Beijing and Manila have been locked in a high seas stand-off since the PLA Navy prevented a Philippine warship from arresting crews of Chinese fishing boats near the Scarborough Shoal on April 8.
Both countries claim the fish rich shoal as their own and protests by Philippine fishermen over their loss of livelihood have drawn mass support in the south-east Asian country.
About 400 activists marched to the Chinese embassy in Manila on Friday to protest against what they call Chinese encroachment on the disputed shoal.
After China warned its Philippine-based citizens to “stay indoors” earlier this week as tensions mounted, Emman Hizon, spokesperson of the Filipino protesters, said the demonstrations should not alarm Chinese residents.
“We reiterate our statement to the Chinese nationals: they have nothing to worry about. This is not a protest action against them; this is a protest action to manifest our indignation against the Chinese government’s policy and military still approaching in the Panatag Shoal area,” he said.