BEIJING/MANILA (Reuters) – Chinese language International Minister Wang Yi warned the Philippines to deal with via dialogue what China sees as “critical difficulties” of their relations over the South China Sea, the place incidents between vessels from the 2 sides have escalated.

Beijing and Manila have traded sharp accusations in latest months over run-ins involving fishing boats, coastguard ships and different vessels within the South China Sea, a strategic commerce hall the place the 2 nations have overlapping claims.

Wang advised his Philippine counterpart, International Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, in a telephone name on Wednesday that if the Southeast Asian nation misjudges or colludes with “ill-intentioned” exterior forces within the disputed waters, China would defend its rights and reply resolutely, in line with a press release by China’s overseas ministry.

“China-Philippines relations are at a crossroads,” the assertion cited Wang as saying. “The highest precedence is to correctly deal with and management the present maritime scenario.”

Manalo mentioned on Thursday he had a frank and candid change with Wang.

“We each famous the significance of dialogue in addressing these points,” Manalo mentioned, in line with a overseas ministry assertion. It was not instantly clear who initiated the telephone name.

China lays declare to a lot of the waters inside a so-called 9 Sprint Line, which can also be contested by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

A world tribunal invalidated China’s declare to 90% of the South China Sea in 2016 however Beijing doesn’t recognise the ruling. China has constructed man-made islands within the disputed space in recent times and put air strips on a number of of them.

(Reporting by Liz Lee in Beijing, Shanghai newsroom, Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Modifying by Edmund Klamann)

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