A pre-trial hearing for nine Chinese fishermen accused of poaching sea turtles in a disputed South China Sea shoal in a case likely to further strains relations with Beijing has been postponed again because of problems finding a qualified interpreter, court and diplomatic officials said.
China accused the US of deliberately stoking tensions in the South China Sea as it rejected Washington’s proposal for a freeze on provocative actions in the region, the foreign ministry said Monday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried Sunday to calm the brewing storm over territorial disputes in Asian waters, appealing to China and its neighbors to settle their differences and ease tensions.
By Bong Lozada
, INQUIRER.net; Associated Press
After more than a decade of helping fight al-Qaeda-linked militants, the United States is scaling down, not disbanding as reported, its anti-terror contingent of elite troops in Mindanao in a move that reflects shifting security strategies and focus in economically vibrant Asia, where new concerns such as multiple territorial conflicts involving China have alarmed Washington’s allies entangled in the disputes.
A US official proposed Wednesday that China and Southeast Asian nations call a moratorium on actions seen as provocative in a bid to cool tensions in the South China Sea.