Philippines backs US plan to sail Navy ship near Chinese island


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Tuesday backed a reported U.S. plan to challenge China’s territorial claims by deploying a Navy ship close to a Chinese-built island in the South China Sea, saying it was important for the international community to safeguard freedom of navigation in the disputed waters.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the U.S. plan of sending a Navy ship within 22 kilometers (14 miles) of the artificial island in the Spratly Islands “would be consistent with international law and a rules-based order for the region.”

The U.S. newspaper Navy Times reported last week that the Navy may soon receive approval for the mission to sail close to the island.

Read more: