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South China Sea

Manila 'will protect' its territory in new South China Sea row

Duterte asserts UN ruling, with backing from US, Japan, Australia, UK, Canada

A satellite aerial view of a set of fishing vessels at Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls the Julian Felipe Reef, on March 23   © Reuters

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte told the Chinese envoy to Manila in a meeting that the Philippines will protect its territory amid the latest spat in the disputed South China Sea, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

Manila and Beijing have been in an impasse for nearly a week over the presence of 183 Chinese vessels in Whitsun Reef in the disputed Spratly region.

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