The South China sea, as seen from Perhentian beach
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Philippines gas hunt may stir tensions

The Philippine President Benigno Aquino has confirmed that an energy company will begin exploring the rich gas deposits in the South China Sea next year.

The area being investigated is called Recto Bank, which the country insists is an undisputed part of its territory.

But China could well raise objections because it claims the whole of the sea as its territory, as the BBC's Kate McGeown reports from Manila.

  • 15 Nov 2011