Philippines deploys extra navy ships to disputed sea amid row with China

MANILA: The Philippine navy ordered the deployment of extra navy ships to the South China Sea on Thursday amid a rising diplomatic row over a fleet of Chinese language boats parked close to a disputed reef.
China claims nearly the whole thing of the resource-rich sea, and was accused by the United States this week of efforts to “intimidate and provoke others” by parking its vessels close to Whitsun Reef.
Manila has ordered Beijing to recall 183 boats on the boomerang-shaped reef round 320 kilometres (175 nautical miles) west of Palawan Island, describing their presence as an incursion of its sovereign territory.
Round 220 boats have been detected by the Philippine coast guard on March 7 however solely made public final weekend. A navy aerial patrol over the reef on Monday discovered 183 have been nonetheless there.
China says the fishing boats are sheltering from poor climate close to the reef, which it claims is a part of the contested Spratly Islands.
A spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines stated the extra navy ships would perform “sovereignty patrols” within the waterway.
He didn’t say if the ships would go close to the reef or what kind of vessels could be used.
The diplomatic row has escalated with a number of nations, together with Canada, Australia and Japan, expressing concern over the renewed tensions within the area.
Beijing usually invokes the so-called nine-dash line to justify its obvious historic rights over many of the South China Sea, components of that are additionally claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.
China has ignored a 2016 worldwide tribunal determination that declared its assertion as with out foundation.
Philippine-China relations have warmed underneath President Rodrigo Duterte, who has pursued better financial cooperation with Beijing.
He has repeatedly stated battle with China could be futile and that the Philippines would lose and endure closely within the course of.
Duterte met with the Chinese language ambassador to the Philippines this week and expressed concern over the presence of the vessels, presidential spokesman Harry Roque stated Thursday.
However Roque stated there was “no actual controversy since they (the Chinese language) aren’t insisting to remain there completely.”

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