Manila summons China ambassador over sea dispute

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 10, 2012 9:54 PM

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines summoned China's ambassador in Manila on Wednesday for talks over a disputed area in the South China Sea after two large Chinese surveillance ships blocked a Philippine Navy vessel from arresting Chinese fishermen in the area.

Raul Hernandez, a foreign ministry spokesman, said Manila is seeking a diplomatic solution to end the stand-off after Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario called in China's ambassador Ma Keqing.

The Philippines and China are contesting sovereignty over a small group of rock formations known as Scarborough shoal in the South China Sea, about 124 nautical miles off the main island of Luzon, near a former U.S. navy base in Subic Bay.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Paul Tait and Michael Perry)