World

China expresses concern over reported Duterte South China Sea comments

File Photo: Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION
File Photo: Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday said it hoped the Philippines could continue to properly manage maritime disputes with China, after reports the Philippines president had said troops would occupy uninhabited shoals it claims in the disputed South China Sea.

Philippines defence and military officials have subsequently clarified President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments, saying the Philippines will upgrade existing facilities on its inhabited islands and reefs in the South China Sea and not occupy new territories.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Writing by Philip Wen; Editing by Michael Perry)

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