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Philippines pledges restraint in sea row with China

Published on Apr 4, 2014 8:51 PM
Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario gives a statement during a press conference in Manila on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The Philippines on Sunday filed a formal plea to the United Nations challenging Beijing's claim to most of the South China Sea, defying Chinese warnings, a day after a dramatic maritime stand-off with the Asian giant. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines pledged to act with restraint on Friday a week after China tried to block a boat ferrying supplies to Filipino troops on a disputed reef in the South China Sea.

"(The) Philippines makes clear that it will continue to exercise self-restraint and will not raise tension in the South China Sea," Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

He issued the statement after a week of diplomatic wrangling following a Philippine boat's delivery of food, water and fresh troops to Second Thomas Shoal, also claimed by Beijing, by slipping through a blockade by two Chinese coastguard vessels.

A small number of Filipino soldiers are stationed on a Navy vessel that was grounded on the shoal in 1999 to assert the Philippines' sovereignty.

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