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South China Sea disputes: Philippines diplomats confront Chinese diplomats South China Sea
Representational image by RIMPAC via Wikimedia Commons

South China Sea disputes: Philippines diplomats confront Chinese diplomats

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Mar 2023, 05:06 pm

Manila: Philippines diplomats on Friday confronted Chinese officials during closed-door talks and protested against Beijing's aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, media reports said.

However, no resolution was reached on the issues, according to an official who was privy to the meeting but requested anonymity, reports The Manila Times.

Territorial disputes in the busy waterway have long loomed as a potential flashpoint in Asia and have become a sensitive front in the regional rivalry between China and the United States, the newspaper reported.

Washington lays no claims in the contested waters but has challenged Beijing's extensive claims, including deploying its warships and fighter jets and repeatedly warning that it would help defend the Philippines — a treaty ally — if Philippine forces, ships and aircraft are attacked.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims in the seaway, which sits atop vast deposits of oil and gas.

A Chinese delegation, led by Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong, held two days of Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) starting Thursday with Philippine counterparts, led by Foreign Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro and reviewed overall relations.

The two sides focused on their territorial disputes Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said as quoted by the newspaper.