Source: The Wall Street Journal

By James Hookway

11 April 2012 - The Philippine government said its newest warship is locked in a standoff with two Chinese surveillance vessels in a fresh dispute over fishing rights in the resource-rich South China Sea, potentially escalating an already-tense security environment in the contested region.

Wednesday afternoon, the Philippines said it had agreed with China to diplomatically resolve the dispute, according to the Associated Press.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario said he met with Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing and both reaffirmed their governments' positions that the Scarborough Shoal where the ships are facing off was part of their own country's territory and neither was ready to stand down.

Mr. del Rosario said that despite the impasse, "we resolved to seek a diplomatic solution to the issue."

"The ambassador of China took the view that they have full sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal," Mr. del Rosario told reporters after the meeting at his Manila office, according to AP. "So, in a sense we had reached an impasse in terms of our positions. And so there's a real challenge for us in terms of our agreement to keep on talking today."

For the complete article, please see The Wall Street Journal.

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