Tuesday, January 10, 2012

China denies Philippine charge of incursion


BEIJING - China said Monday accusations its navy recently entered Philippine waters were "groundless," as it warned Manila against causing disturbances in the disputed South China Sea.
 
Manila's Department of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday it had conveyed "serious concerns" to the Chinese Embassy over the recent actions in the South China Sea, which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.
 
It said two Chinese vessels and a navy ship had been sighted in the vicinity of Escoda Shoal, which is about 113 kilometeres (70 miles) off the western Philippine island of Palawan, on December 11 and 12.
 
"China will not accept the groundless accusations from the Philippine side," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told journalists.
 
"We hope the Philippines will not create something from nothing and cause disturbances."
 
Escoda is well within the Philippines' internationally recognized 200-mile exclusive economic zone, but China claims all of the South China Sea, including the potentially oil-rich Spratly islands.
 
China's rival Taiwan, as well as Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, also lay claim to all or part of the Spratlys, which experts have warned could be a flashpoint for potential armed conflict in the region.
 
Tensions in the decades-old dispute escalated last year amid accusations from the Philippines and Vietnam that Beijing was becoming increasingly aggressive in staking its claims in the area. — AFP
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January 9, 2012 6:26pm
GMA News Network

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