Philippine leader questions intent of China ships

AP News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2014 4:12 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Philippine President Benigno Aquino III says his nation will stick up for its territorial rights in the disputed South China Sea.

Aquino voiced concern Tuesday that a June mission by two Chinese survey ships at the disputed Reed Bank could presage an attempt to drill for oil there.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Aquino said all nations that ply the South China Sea, a major conduit for world trade, should be concerned by assertive actions of China, which claims most of resource-rich waters for itself.

The Philippines, a treaty U.S. ally, has riled China by challenging its maritime claims at an international tribunal. China refuses to answer the case as it denies the tribunal has the jurisdiction.

Aquino is attending a gathering of world leaders at the U.N.