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Taiwan criticises Manila for renaming disputed waters

Published on Sep 13, 2012 4:07 PM
An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, which belongs to the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines on July 20, 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan on Thursday criticised the Philippines for naming South China Sea waters off its west coast the "West Philippine Sea" despite rival sovereignty claims.

Taiwan "does not recognise this unilateral move that will provoke disputes and sternly reaffirms its territorial claim" to the South China Sea, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We urge neighbouring countries to exercise self-restraint and avoid any unilateral moves that will affect peace and stability in the region, instead replacing confrontation with dialogue," it said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Wednesday his government would register the new name with the United Nations as part of efforts to delineate its sovereign territory, a move that could further raise tensions with China.

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