Philippines says it may resume resupply mission to disputed South China Sea

Filipino technicians guide a submarine as it unloads from its cargo ship in Subic Bay, Philippines, in December 1992. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Philippine officials say the country’s military may be able to resume its resupply mission to the disputed South China Sea, which Beijing has prevented ships from accessing.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters over the weekend that a government search and rescue team may begin resupplying the Philippine Navy (PNF) within a few weeks. Lorenzana told CNN Philippines that he hopes resupply will be restarted next month. “We are seeing it as a one-off incident. We would like to see that those responsible for the (disarmament) protocol be identified, and hopefully they would be held accountable,” he said.

The Chinese Defense Ministry responded, saying the withdrawal of U.S. and Japanese warships that patrolled the region gave them “the credibility and assurance they need to deal with the Philippines unilaterally escalating tensions in the area.” The ministry added that “the continued deployment of U.S. warships and aircraft in the South China Sea is an act of provocation that will not be tolerated.” The Chinese government says the new move could lead to a military standoff.

The Philippines has a long-standing dispute with China over control of the South China Sea. On January 16, it recalled its ambassador from Beijing. China’s forceful intervention at the time prevented Filipino naval vessels from boarding a Chinese ship with “suspicious containers” that were reportedly laden with materials to support precision bombing.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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