Duterte orders Philippine troops to South China Sea reefs

Duterte orders Philippine troops to South China Sea reefsPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he has ordered troops to deploy on unoccupied South China Sea islands, boosting the military presence on remote reefs claimed by Manila in a move that could provoke rival claimants including Beijing. China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbours and has rapidly built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes. Duterte has previously sought to improve his nation’s relations with Beijing by adopting a non-confrontational approach over their competing claims in the strategically vital waters.



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