In October, Beijing vested Sansha prefecture with the police authority, effective Jan. 1, “to board, seize and expel foreign ships” within a vast jurisdiction that includes islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea. Since Sansha’s formation, China has increased its provocative moves against the Philippines, including the occupation of the Scarborough Shoal (115 miles from the Philippines coast) by 90 Chinese ships that barred Filipino fishers from their fishing grounds, and the dispatch of Chinese frigates to Ayungin Reef (105 miles from the Philippines).