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Philippines redeploys boats to shoal after Chinese blockade

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the boats aren't being escorted by the navy or coast guard

china coast
File photo

The Philippine military defiantly redeployed two supply boats on Monday to provide food to Filipino marines guarding a disputed shoal in the South China Sea after the Chinese coast guard used water cannons to forcibly turn the boats away in an assault last week that drew angry condemnation and warnings from Manila.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the two civilian wooden-hulled boats carrying navy personnel left western Palawan province and should reach the marines stationed on a navy ship at Second Thomas Shoal after an overnight trip.

Lorenzana said the boats aren't being escorted by the navy or coast guard in accordance with a request by China's ambassador to Manila.