Hong Kong — Rodrigo Duterte has unilaterally declared that the disputed Scarborough Shoal will become a fishing-free zone, a move seemingly aimed at further defusing tension with China that analysts warned could backfire."The president has decided to declare that as a sanctuary," Hermogenes Esperon, Duterte’s national security adviser said this week after the Philippine president met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at an Asia-Pacific summit in Lima.The triangular shoal, and the fish-rich, 150km² lagoon that lies within, is at the centre of a long-running territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing, with China forcing Philippine fishing boats out in 2012.Manila brought an international court case against Beijing over the issue, with the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague ruling in July that China had "unlawfully prevented Filipino fishermen from engaging in traditional fishing at Scarborough Shoal". China refused to recognise the authority of the court and Duterte has ...

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