China removes ships from disputed island
May 3, 1997
Web posted at: 6:23 p.m. EDT (2223 GMT)
MANILA, Philippines (CNN) -- China has removed its military
ships from waters near a mineral-rich island claimed by the
Philippines, officials said Saturday.
Maj. Gen. Renaldo Reyes said a surveillance plane reported
the military ships were no longer near the Spratly Islands in
the South China Sea. The Philippines formally protested the
ships' presence to Beijing Wednesday.
China claims the entire area historically belongs to it.
Aside from the Philippines, the islands are also claimed
wholly or in part by Vietnam, Taiwan,
Malaysia and Brunei.
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