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China's claims to South China Sea threaten neighbours, says Philippines

Manila , Tue, 24 Apr 2012 ANI

Manila, April 24 (ANI): The Philippines has warned that aggressive Chinese claims on the South China Sea pose a threat to its neighbours, and has called on other countries to take a stand on this issue.

The dispute over how much of the disputed waters belong to China has fueled ongoing tension in the region, The Los Angeles Times reports.

"China claiming everything, as having sovereign rights over the entire South China Sea, what is the message? The message is: I can set the rules for everybody," Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

China and Philippines are in dispute over a group of islands in South China Sea, with both sides claiming the waters between the Scarborough Shoal.

"China is ready to settle this incident through friendly diplomatic consultations," Chinese Embassy spokesman Zhang Hua said.

Philippine officials have said that they would bring up the matter with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta next week.

Brunei and Malaysia have also claimed over the sea, which is lucrative fishing grounds and believed to cover oil and natural gas reserves.

Despite China agreeing to a U.N. convention on maritime zones that limited its reach at sea, its official maps show almost all of the South China Sea as being in its territory, alarming neighboring countries. (ANI)


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