(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIJING - China will begin preparatory work this year for an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, an official said, as two US senators introduced a bill to impose sanctions on its activities in the disputed waterway.
Last month, a Philippine minister said Chinese President Xi Jinping had promised his Philippine counterpart China would not build structures on the rocky outcrop both countries claim, but China called the comments "baffling and regrettable."
China seized the shoal, which is northeast of the Spratly islands, in 2012 and denied access to Philippine fishermen. But after President Rodrigo Duterte visited China last year, it allowed them to return to the traditional fishing area.