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    Posted January 8, 2014 by

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    China stirs new tension in West Phl Sea

    THE Philippine government on Wednesday said it is checking on reports that China issued a new regulation to bolster its massive claim over the disputed islands surrounding the South China Sea.
    In a text message to Michaela del Callar of the state-run Philippines News Agency (PNA), Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the new regulation may heighten the tensions again in the region.
    “We are verifying the news with our embassies in Beijing and Hanoi,” Hernandez told Del Callar.
    The regulation requires foreign vessels to seek China’s permission before entering the disputed islands where Manila and several Southeast Asian nations have overlapping claims.
    China declared the disputed seas as part of Hainan’s administrative maritime zone, which triggered protests from the United States, Japan and the Philippines.
    The order, Hernandez said, was issued by Hainan provincial government and took effect January 1.
    The disputed sea is believed to have a huge oil deposits and has sparked occasional violence among claimant countries that may erupt into an armed conflict.
    Manila coined the name West Philippine Sea some parts of the South China Sea that are within its exclusive economic zone.

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