Filipino officials ban Chinese diplomat amid spat

Philippine officials have banned a Chinese diplomat from meetings, in the latest fallout from a feud over the oil-rich Spratly Islands.

Manila: Philippine officials have banned a
senior Chinese diplomat from meetings for alleged rude
behaviour, in the latest fallout from a feud over the
potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands, officials said on Tuesday.

Department of Foreign Affairs officials said Chinese
Embassy First Secretary Li Yongsheng, who heads its political
section, raised his voice at a Filipino officer last month
while discussing Philippine allegations of Chinese intrusions
in Manila-claimed areas in the Spratlys.

A memorandum from the department`s Asian and Pacific
Affairs office said Li exhibited "conduct unbecoming of a
diplomat" and that the embassy had been informed he would not
be allowed to attend future meetings at the office.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has been informed
about the incident, according to the memo.

The memorandum did not provide details of what
happened at the meeting, but at least three senior Filipino
diplomats said Li raised his voice in an offensive manner
during a discussion of Manila`s claims that Chinese forces
intruded into Philippine territorial waters in and near the
Spratlys. T he diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because
they lacked authority to talk to reporters.


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