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HomeWorld newsStormy seas loom as Beijing and Manila feud over a secret deal

Stormy seas loom as Beijing and Manila feud over a secret deal

The waters of the South China Sea are becoming stormier than ever as Beijing and Manila feud over an elusive “gentlemen’s agreement” that China claims has kept the peace in a disputed area of ​​the waterway for years.

Allegations over the deal, which China and former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have said was a verbal agreement between the two countries over relocations from Manila to the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, have dramatically increased tensions in the South China Sea.

While China claims about 90% of the energy-rich waterway, which is also home to crucial trade routes, Manila insists that the Second Thomas Shoal falls within its exclusive economic zone – which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the coast – and pledged that “it will never leave the area.”

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