China plan to board ships denounced

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iol news pic South China Sea protest

AP

File image - Protesters shout slogans as they march towards the Chinese consulate during a rally Friday, May 11, 2012 in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines. The Philippines and China are in a standoff over Scarborough Shoal which began early April after the Philippine navy accused Chinese boats of illegally fishing in the area. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

Manila, Philippines -

The Philippines has denounced Chinese plans to search ships sailing through what Beijing says is its territory in the South China Sea in the latest irritant between the countries.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Saturday that the plans should be condemned by the international community because they violate maritime domains of countries in the region and impede freedom of navigation.

Chinese state media announced the plans, saying southern Hainan province, which Beijing says administers the South China Sea, had approved laws giving its police the right to search vessels that pass through the waters.

Last week the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and India protested a map on a new Chinese passport that depicts all of the disputed areas as belonging to China. - Sapa-AP


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