Photo credit, NASA Landsat 7 image of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea
The former USCGC Hamilton, now BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is at the center of a standoff with the Chinese over a remote atoll shaped group of rocks and shallows called variously Scarborough (or Panatag) Reef or Shoal.
Both the Chinese and the Philippines claim sovereignty.
A Philippine patrol plane located eight Chinese fishing vessels inside the atoll. With the Gregorio del Pilar now on scene, two Chinese Maritime Surveillance vessels are blocking Philippine fisheries enforcement action against the fishing vessels and the Chinese are demanding the Philippine Navy depart their waters; while the Philippines is asserting it will enforce its sovereignty. Diplomacy is given lip service, but the standoff is ongoing. The US has a treaty obligation to the Philippines (subject to interpretation of course) and there are calls for US assistance.
A long discussion from the Philippine point of view here.
Photo: Philippine flag planted on Scarborough Shoal, Photographed by Adel Rosario, 05:11, 2 May 2010 (UTC)