MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ordered the Navy to drive away Chinese service ships following reports they were cruising near the resource-rich Benham Rise, which is a Philippine territory.
Shortly after expressing concern about China's latest move, Beijing's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that the Philippines cannot claim Benham Rise as its own territory despite the award of the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to the Philippines in 2012.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said the sea vessels were simply for research and have not intruded the Philippine territorial waters.
China, later on, clarified that it fully respects the Philippines' rights over the continental shelf in Benham Rise.
Here are some of the things you need to know about Benham Rise.
— Text by Patricia Lourdes Viray; Video by Efigenio Toledo IV