Philippines asks China to explain ship deployment in disputed waters
MANILA (AP) - The Philippines has asked China to explain its deployment of a patrol ship to guard potentially oil-rich islands and waters it claims in the South China Sea, saying the move has sparked new tensions over the disputed waters.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says Chinese diplomats have told their Philippine counterparts that Beijing will only assert its claims, including by possibly intercepting foreign ships, in territorial waters off China's southernmost province of Hainan.
Mr Del Rosario said in a news conference on Wednesday that the Philippines has asked China to specify the limits of the territory it will guard.
He says the territorial rifts are one of the issues he will discuss with his Japanese counterpart when they meet on Thursday in Manila.