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From  http://lateline.muzi.net/topics/Spratly_dispute/index.shtml

China insists on boat compensation from Philippines

[Lateline News (lateline.muzi.net): 6/4/99] MANILA - China will insist on compensation from the Philippines for the sinking of a Chinese fishing boat in a collision with a Philippine navy vessel in disputed South China Sea waters, diplomatic sources was quoted by AFP as saying Friday. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
China said that the Philippine vessel rammed the fishing vessel off Scarborough Shoal on May 23. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
The Philippines has rejected demands for compensation, saying the two vessels bumped accidentally when the navy tried to arrest the Chinese for illegal fishing. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
One source said China was insisting the fishing boat would not have sunk from an accidental collision. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
China was also saying it was a very expensive boat, in an apparent bid to increase the amount of compensation. It was earlier reported China was seeking 30,000 dollars for the sunken vessel. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
Three Chinese were rescued by the Philippine navy after the collision and were turned over to the Chinese embassy here on the understanding that the mission would make them available for possible prosecution. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
However, earlier this week, Manila said it was dropping charges against the Chinese. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
Scarborough Shoal, where the incident occurred, is located off the western coast of the main island of Luzon. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
China claims the shoal as well as the entire South China Sea, but the Philippines says the shoal is part of the country's territory and has long been patrolled by its navy. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
The shoal is north of the Spratly island chain in the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing are embroiled in a diplomatic storm over Chinese construction of buildings on the Philippine-claimed Mischief Reef. Lateline News http://lateline.muzi.net
Manila defense officials have been pressing their government to file a diplomatic protest against Beijing over the alleged harassment of a stricken Philippine naval logistics vessel by two Chinese warships in the Spratlys on May 15.


Lateline News : Philippine Defends Policy to Allow in U.S.Troops[Lateline News (lateline.muzi.net): 5/18/99]


HONG KONG - The Philippine's president today defended an accord that allows U.S. troops to train in the country, saying it is a necessary precaution against possible "Chinese aggression".

The Visiting Forces Agreement, reached last year by Washington and Manila and up for approval by the Philippine senate, would allow joint military exercises and visits by U.S. ships to the archipelago to resume.

President Joseph Estrada told The Associated Press the deal was ``very necessary'' and wouldprovide a ``balance of power'' against China, which he said has already "encroached on Philippine territory".

Estrada said it was important for Philippine soldiers to get training from their American counterparts.

``I am for the security of my country,'' Estrada said Monday in Hong Kong, where he was attending a business conference.

Communist guerrillas in the Philippines say the accord compromises the country's sovereignty, and have threatened to terminate peace talks if it is approved.

Estrada cited recent Chinese "intr