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China media call for 'unaffordable price' in sea dispute

Published on May 13, 2014 1:38 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China's state-run media on Tuesday called for Beijing's territorial challengers to be made to pay an "unaffordable price", with the country embroiled in heated rows in the South China Sea.

Regional tensions have risen sharply since Beijing moved a deep-water drilling rig into waters disputed with Vietnam for the first time, and a foreign ministry official said on Friday Vietnamese ships had rammed Chinese vessels 171 times since May 3.

Hanoi says its own patrol vessels were repeatedly rammed by Chinese ships near the Paracel Islands, which China calls Xisha.

Philippine police last week detained 11 Chinese fishermen off the disputed Half Moon Shoal, with nine of them charged on Monday despite Beijing's warning of a dire effect on relations.

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