Philippines still asking China to withdraw three ships
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines is still asking China to withdraw three ships from a disputed shoal in the South China Sea almost six months after it promised to pull out, the foreign minister said on Thursday.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said that while the Philippines withdrew its own ships from Scarborough Shoal on June 4, as agreed by both countries, China's three government ships remained in the area.
"They have three ships in the vicinity right now. They have never really left. We are continuing to ask them to honour our sovereignty and... we are asking them to pull out their ships as agreed upon," he said.
Government vessels from the Philippines and China began facing off over the shoal in April as both countries pressed their conflicting claims over the islets.