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China flexes muscle with 23 vessels in disputed shoal By Michaela P. del Callar, Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 05/03/2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

TAIWAN SETS UP AIRBORNE UNIT IN SPRATLYS

China flexes muscle with 23 vessels in disputed shoal

By Michaela P. del Callar, Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 05/03/2012

A day after President Aquino’s two Cabinet secretaries appealed for help from the United States government for a minimum Philippine “credible defense” against Chinese incursions in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, China flexed its maritime muscle with 23 vessels at the disputed South China Sea shoal while its rival, Taiwan, made public its claim on the contested area Wednesday, further complicating the dangerous 23-day standoff.

A group of Filipino-Americans, meanwhile, announced planned protests in China’s embassies and consulates in the US and Canada on May 11 to denounce what they call Chinese aggression on Philippine sovereignty. A similar demonstration will also be held in Manila on the same day.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said on radio that China has stationed four Chinese government ships in the Scarborough, including Beijing’s most advanced patrol craft, while eight Chinese fishing vessels were spotted inside the shoal’s lagoon, along with 11 smaller boats. This is the largest number of Chinese vessels monitored by the Philippines thus far in the shoal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120503hea1.html

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