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Philippines objects to China's naming of undersea features

AP  |  Manila 

The rejects Chinese names given to some undersea features in a vast offshore region where the has undisputed sovereign rights, the said today in a new tiff despite the Asian neighbors' mended ties.

The has already raised its concern to over its naming of the undersea features in Benham Rise and may officially notify the international hydrographic body that lists such records, said.

proposed the names for the features in 2015 and 2017, he said.

In Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry said today that has been participating in activities related to proposing names for undersea features "in accordance with international practice"and the rules of the international hydrographic body.

"China fully respects the Philippines' continental shelf rights over Benham Rise," said Geng Shuang, the Chinese spokesman. "Meanwhile, we hope the relevant parties can be objective and responsible in viewing relevant technical works."

Benham Rise lies on the other side of the from the Sea, where Manila, and four other governments have been locked in territorial disputes.

Critics have questioned why allowed a group from China to undertake scientific research in the waters given Manila's long-simmering territorial conflict with in the Sea.

China has defied and refuses to comply with an international arbitration ruling that invalidated its claim to virtually all of the Sea on historical grounds.

"We object and do not recognize the Chinese names given to some undersea features in the Philippine Rise," Roque said in a statement, using the name given by the to Benham Rise.

Duterte ordered an end last week to all foreign scientific research missions in Benham Rise after officials said the Philippines' undisputed sovereign rights in the potentially of water off its northeastern coast came under question.

The followed up with a warning that he will order the to fire if other countries extract resources from within his country's exclusive economic zone, a 200-nautical mile stretch of sea where a coastal state has internationally recognised exclusive rights to exploit resources under a 1982 UN treaty.

Foreign ships can pass but cannot fish or extract from the under the seabed.

There were no immediate comments from officials.

Chinese and Philippine officials met yesterday in and discussed proposed joint projects in the

They said China and Southeast Asian nations would begin negotiations early next month on a "code of conduct" aimed at reducing the risks of armed confrontations in the contested territories.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 16:20 IST