Saturday, October 29, 2016

Chinese vessels leave disputed shoal: Philippine official

Chinese vessels have left the contested Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, a Philippine official said Saturday, less than a week after President Rodrigo Duterte visited Beijing pledging closer ties.

The firebrand leader used the trip to vaunt his move away from traditional ally the United States in favor of Beijing -- which was previously at loggerheads with Manila over the maritime dispute.

China took control of the Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometers (140 miles) from the main Philippine island of Luzon, in 2012, driving Filipino fishermen away from the rich fishing ground, sometimes using water cannons.

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