A regional Asian summit [ASEAN] has ended in acrimony over China’s assertive role in the strategic South China Sea, failing to agree on a concluding joint statement.
Several countries have competing claims over parts of the South China Sea, a major shipping lane, but it is the Philippines and China who are in a tense standoff over the islands of Scarborough Shoal.
The Philippines says that the area is within 200 nautical miles (about 370km) from its coast, and therefore part of its exclusive economic zone, under UN maritime laws.
But China says it has a historic claim to the territory.
An Al Jazeera team experienced first-hand how China is establishing its presence in the area around the disputed islands.
Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao reports.