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Aides of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday criticised China for what they called territorial incursions by hundreds of its vessels, which his legal counsel warned could damage ties and lead to “unwanted hostilities”.

The foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Germany are looking to hold a “2 plus 2” dialogue online in mid-April, the daily Yomiuri reported on Monday.

The Philippines’ defence chief said on Sunday China was looking to occupy more areas in the South China Sea, citing the continued presence of Chinese vessels that Manila believes are manned by militias in disputed parts of the strategic waterway.

European countries are providing help for Taiwan’s indigenous submarine project, the island’s defence ministry said, in a rare admission that the sensitive programme is not getting assistance solely from the United States.

 The national security advisers for the United States and the Philippines discussed their shared concerns over Chinese activities in the South China Sea in a call on Wednesday, the White House said.

China on Friday denounced an agreement between the U.S. and Taiwanese coast guards that underscores growing ties between Washington and the self-governing island democracy.

Taiwan’s defence ministry says the air force deployed missiles to ‘monitor’ incursion into the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone.

Taiwan has begun mass production of a long-range missile and is developing three other models, a senior official said in a rare admission of efforts to develop strike capacity amid growing Chinese pressure.

The Philippine military has ordered more navy ships to be deployed for “sovereignty patrols” in the South China Sea, where a Chinese flotilla has swarmed around a disputed reef and ignored Manila’s demand to leave the area.

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