Beijing installs rocket launchers on disputed South China Sea island

Sta. Romana described the first bilateral meeting under the renewed China-Philippines relations as "excellent meeting".

The issue escalated in recent years as China followed a strategy of constructing artificial islands in the sea that can support regional military facilities. Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of China, has also laid claims on some of the islands.

THE Philippines and China have both agreed to resolve the sovereign and economic rights over contested islands in the South China Sea using a "more peaceful" engagement, Malacañang said Saturday.

India and Singapore on Thursday began a naval exercise in the contentious South China Sea, to which Beijing and other littoral countries have overlapping claims.

Duterte said China did not want to bring up the arbitral ruling at a time when other claimant countries, like Vietnam, might also decide to file cases against it at the arbitration tribunal.

The Philippine president recalled Monday conversation with China's President Xi Jinping regarding the disputed areas of the South China Sea and explained why he abstained from pressing the claims.

The Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ. The ruling was adamantly rejected by the Chinese government.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in late March that major construction at the three largest of China's man-made islands in the Spratlys was almost finished, allowing Beijing to deploy fighter jets and mobile missile launchers to the area at any time.

Moscow says US coalition strikes on Syrian forces 'unacceptable'
An earlier chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 civilians is thought to have been launched from there. Last summer, Syrian fighters trained by the USA who operated out of al-Tanf were bombed by Russian jets.

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.

At the same time, China can never represent Taiwan at the negotiations with regard to the South China Sea, he added.

The system has the capability to discover, identify and attack enemy combat divers, according to the report.

China, which has continued a military build-up on the islands it says it controls, has insisted this course is part of necessary defensive requirements.

The tribunal struck down China's expansive claims over the area based on historical hold.

A draft of the framework describes the projected agreement as "a set of norms to guide the conduct of parties and promote maritime cooperation in the South China Sea", adding it is "not an instrument to settle territorial disputes". China has reacted strongly to such American patrols.

Many global non-claimant nations, particularly the United States, however, want the South China Sea to remain as worldwide waters considering the fact that a high proportion of the world's trade passes through this region.

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