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Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin tweets expletive-laced message against Beijing even as Philippine president shies away from confrontation.

Australia opened embassies in the Marshall Islands and French Polynesia on Tuesday as Canberra accelerates its efforts to counter growing competition from China for influence in the Pacific.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will attend the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit due to be held in Singapore next month, organisers said, after the annual meeting was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

China urged the Philippines on Tuesday to observe "basic etiquette" and eschew megaphone diplomacy after the southeast Asian nation's foreign minister used an expletive-laced Twitter message to demand that China's vessels leave disputed waters.

The Philippine foreign minister on Monday demanded in an expletive-laced message on Twitter that China's vessels get out of disputed waters, marking the latest exchange in a war of words with Beijing over its activities in the South China Sea.

Australia will review the 99-year-lease of a commercial and military port in its north to a Chinese firm, the Sydney Morning Herald reported late on Sunday, a move that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Differences between New Zealand and its top trading partner China are becoming harder to reconcile as Beijing's role in the world grows and changes, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

Announcement comes after Beijing criticised the US for sending Navy ships into the strategic area.

President Joe Biden took aim at China in his first speech to Congress on Wednesday, pledging to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific and promising to boost technological development and trade.

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