China Denies Intrusion in Benham Rise, Says Ship Made Innocent Passage

China insisted that its ship was making an innocent passage in the eastern Philippines, contrary to reports of the defense department that it was conducting a survey of the location. The area, known as Benham Rise, contains natural gas and high-value fishery items. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana questioned the Chinese claim, saying that the ship crossed through the area for six months and stopped several times, presumably to…

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