China Rebuffs International Court Sea Dispute Request: China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed at a daily press briefing on Wednesday that Beijing had no intention of responding to the court's approach. "We are aware of relevant reports," Mr. Hong said. "We do not accept and will not participate in such arbitration." Mr. Hong's rejection of the proceedings came as no surprise, with China having refused to take part in the arbitration case ever since Manila first launched its legal action in January 2013, and having severely criticized the Philippine government for seeking legal recourse.The Philippines' complaint against China comes under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, which both countries have ratified. However, China didn't sign up to the treaty's arbitration processes, and has always maintained that the best way to solve territorial disputes is through bilateral dialogue
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*The Philippines has turned to Washington, its longtime defense treaty ally, for help to modernize its navy and air force, among Asia's weakest. Chinese paramilitary ships took effective control of the disputed Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing ground off the northwestern Philippines, in 2012. Last year, Chinese coast guard ships were deployed to another contested offshore South China Sea territory, the Second Thomas Shoal, where they have been trying to block food supplies and rotation of Filipino marines aboard a grounded Philippine navy ship in the shallow waters of the remote coral outcrops.
*Japan's new military base: The new base "should give Japan the ability to expand surveillance to near the Chinese mainland," said Heigo Sato, a professor at Takushoku University and a former researcher at the Defense Ministry's National Institute for Defense Studies.
"It will allow early warning of missiles and supplement the monitoring of Chinese military movements." China's
decision last year to establish an air-defence identification zone in
the East China Sea, including the skies above the disputed
Senkaku/Diaoyu islets, further rattled Tokyo.
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China ratchets up control over South China sea coming closer to confrontation
Philippines drops food to troops after China "blockade": "We confirmed there was an air drop of food to our troops," Defence Department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said. He said the air drop was "via airplane," but did not say when it occurred nor give further details. The incident took place at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly island group, which is around 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan and which Manila insists is part of its continental shelf.
The shoal is more than 1,000 kilometres from Hainan island, the closest Chinese landmass, but China claims nearly all of the South China Sea based on what it says are historical records. A tiny unit of Filipino marines live on the BRP Sierra Madre, a decrepit, beached former World-War-II US navy transport ship that was transferred to the Philippine navy and run aground on the shoal in the 1990s. China has long demanded the Philippines pull out the vessel and the marines.