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SE Asia
 

Philippine vessel evades China 'blockade' of disputed reef

Published on Mar 29, 2014 7:16 PM
 
A China Coast Guard ship (top) and a Philippine supply boat engage in a stand off as the Philippine boat attempts to reach the Second Thomas Shoal, a remote South China Sea a reef claimed by both countries, on March 29, 2014. Philippine soldiers aboard a fishing vessel engaged on Saturday in a dramatic stand-off with Chinese coastguard ships near a remote South China Sea reef claimed by both countries. -- PHOTO: AFP

ABOARD A PHILIPPINE MILITARY PLANE ABOVE THE SOUTH CHINA SEA (AFP) - Philippine soldiers aboard a fishing vessel engaged on Saturday in a dramatic stand-off with Chinese coastguard ships near a remote South China Sea reef claimed by both countries.

The Philippine ship finally slipped past the Chinese blockade to reach Second Thomas Shoal, where a handful of Filipino marines are stationed on a Navy vessel that has been grounded there since 1999 to assert their nation's sovereignty, an AFP report said.

The Philippine military said the ship, a fishing vessel with soldiers on board, had completed its mission to deliver fresh supplies to the navy ship and rotate the troops.

"They were able to pass through the Chinese coastguard vessel and the mission is a success," Cherryl Tindog, a spokeswoman for the military's western command, said.

 
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