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China summons Manila envoy over South China Sea legal case

Published on Apr 1, 2014 4:40 AM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China summoned the Philippines ambassador on Monday to lodge a strong complaint over Manila's seeking of international arbitration in a festering territorial dispute over the South China Sea.

The Philippines filed the case against China on Sunday at an arbitration tribunal in The Hague, subjecting Beijing to international legal scrutiny over the waters for the first time.

The United States, a treaty ally of the Philippines, said on Sunday that the right of any state to use dispute resolution mechanisms under the Convention on the Law of the Sea should be respected.

On Monday, the US State Department accused China's coastguard of "harassment" of Philippine vessels and called its attempt on Saturday to block a Philippine resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed atoll, "a provocative and destabilising action."

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