The Philippines opened a coast guard base on the contested island of Thitu on Friday, fully equipped to monitor passing vessels in the South China Sea, APA reports citing DW.
Manila says the base will monitor the behavior of Chinese ship and aircraft in the waterway, accusing Beijing of seeking to bully it over the Spratly archipelago.
Earlier this year, the Philippine Coast Guard said it had spotted a Chinese navy ship and dozens of militia vessels near the island, which is Manila's main strategic outpost in the South China Sea.
Staff at the three-story facility will use radar, satellite communication, and cameras to observe the surrounding waters.
Confrontations between Chinese and Philippine ships have intensified this year with fears that such standoffs could lead to a larger conflict. In October, Beijing and Manila traded blame over two collisions near the Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly archipelago.
"The behavior of the Chinese Coast Guard, People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Chinese militias are sometimes unpredictable," Eduardo Ano, the Philippine national security adviser, said while visiting the island for the inauguration.
"They do not adhere to the international order, to the rule of law," he told reporters.