Philippines objects to new Chinese gunboat in South China Sea
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines said it "strongly objects" to China's deployment of a new patrol vessel in the South China Sea, where the two countries have a seething maritime territorial dispute.
Such patrols will not boost China's claim to the disputed territory where the two countries have had a standoff since April, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a statement on Friday.
"The Philippines strongly objects to the Chinese patrol of Philippine maritime domain in the West Philippine Sea," the statement said, using the local name for the South China Sea.
It called on China to respect the country's "territorial sovereignty and EEZ", referring to the Philippines' 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).