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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chinese/Philippine Standoff Escalates

It had appeared last week that the standoff between China and the Philippines had mostly resolved itself, with the parties seemingly agreeing to mediation. Not going to happen. China has rejected international mediation, and both sides are now lining up ships again.
Hostilities between China and Philippines escalated on Sunday as both sides lined up their naval ships for a second time in as many weeks, in a stand-off over a disputed island in the South China Sea.

China defended its action of sending its maritime vessel to the Huangyan Island, which the Philippines calls Scarborough Shoal as Manila too reportedly lined up two of its naval ships.

Philippines has already approached the International Court of Justice in Hague over the dispute.

China has rejected the move saying that it is against any international arbitration. Earlier in the day, Philippines President Benigno Aquino dismissed as rhetoric the recent warnings by Chinese officials of decisive action against the Philippines to reinforce Beijing's claim over the island.

"We don't think that at this stage they (China) will engage in any military activities," Aquino told reporters.

"And we... Have been geared towards de-escalating the situation."

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