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PH backs down in S. China Sea after Beijing protest

/ 12:58 PM November 08, 2017
Philippines South China Sea Thitu Island

In this April 21, 2017 photo, a sandbar is seen from the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines.  (AP FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ defense secretary said on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte has stopped construction work on a newly formed sandbar in the disputed South China Sea after a protest from Beijing.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the new territorial spat happened in August and prompted China and the Philippines to consider some sort of protocol or arrangement to allow both sides to prevent such incidents from spiraling out of control.

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Lorenzana said the dispute over the sandbar at Sandy Cay near the Philippine-occupied Thitu Island remains unresolved but both sides pledged not to occupy any new territory.

China’s claims to most of the South China Sea overlap with those by the Philippines and other neighbors. Despite that, tensions have eased since Duterte warmed up to Beijing. /kga

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TAGS: China, Delfin Lorenzana, Diplomacy, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, sea dispute, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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