Manila calls home envoy to China amid new tensions
MANILA (AFP) – The Philippines has called home its ambassador to China for consultations, the foreign department said amid fresh tensions in a long-running maritime territorial dispute.
Ambassador Erlinda Basilio flew back to Manila as the Defence Department this week accused China of laying 75 concrete blocks on disputed territory in the South China Sea, Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.
"She was asked to come home for consultations, and she will (be in Manila) for the next few days," Mr Hernandez told reporters.
He said Ms Basilio was advising Philippine officials on how to handle the alleged Chinese actions at Scarborough Shoal, a rocky outcrop about 220km off the main Philippine island of Luzon, within the country's internationally recognised exclusive economic zone.