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China sends patrol ship to protect interests in territorial waters
China rejected a request by the Philippines on Wednesday to take a maritime dispute to an international court, as Beijing sent a major ship to beef up patrols in the South China Sea.
The moves underscored Beijing's determination to protect its maritime interests in response to Manila's refusal to withdraw ships from Chinese waters, analysts said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned Manila's charge d'affaires in Beijing, Alex Chua, for the second time in four days on Wednesday, to protest against Manila's claim over Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Wednesday.
Fu urged Manila to "fulfill its promise" of easing tension and withdraw its vessels from China's territorial waters.
Manila on Tuesday said it planned to take the dispute to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, according to a statement by Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
The purpose is to ascertain if Manila has "sovereign rights" over the waters, he said.
Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine defense secretary, was quoted by The Philippine Star as saying that the dispute will be discussed at a meeting on April 30 in Washington between Manila's top defense and foreign affairs officials and their US counterparts.
"I'm sure this will be one of the subject matters," Gazmin said.
Fu on Wednesday urged Manila "not to take any more measures that would worsen the situation".
On April 10, 12 Chinese fishing boats were harassed by a Philippine warship near the island.
Two Chinese patrol ships arrived later that day to prevent fishermen from being detained.