Agence France-Presse

Chinese naval frigate stranded on Philippine coast

The Philippine Foreign Minister, Raul Hernandez, is demanding answers as to how a Chinese warship got stranded on a shoal near the country's coast.


Hoang Dinh Nam

The Philippine government is demanding answers Saturday as a Chinese warship was stranded in their territorial waters.

Raul Hernandez, the Philippines' foreign minister, said that Beijing had some explaining to do as to why the Chinese vessel ended up on a shoal, just 70 miles from the mainland.

"We need to find out what really happened with the Chinese frigate in our territory," said Hernandez, according to the Associated Press.

"We are seeking a clarification from the Chinese what these ships are doing in the area, though it can be assumed that these are out for rescue."

The Kuwait Times said that China had already confirmed that the ship had been stranded after a "routine patrol" but has not said anything further.

The Philippines said that it would assist the vessel if it was asked to.

The incident underscores the dispute between the two countries over territorial waters.

A conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held this week in Cambodia failed after participants could not reach an agreement over resolving disputes in the South China Sea.

Bloomberg reported that the conference was marred by the growing unease of Vietnam and the Philippines over China's assertiveness in the sea, which may contain oil and gas reserves.

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