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China says fishing boats will leave disputed shoal following pullout of Philippine vessels June 18,2012   |  Source: AP

China says it will pull out its fishing boats from a disputed shoal in the South China Sea following a similar move by the Philippines.

The standoff at Scarborough Shoal erupted in April when the Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poaching inside its exclusive economic zone. China claims sovereignty over the tiny, uninhabited shoal and deployed paramilitary vessels to protect fishermen.

The Philippine president ordered the pullout of the two remaining Philippine government ships over the weekend, citing bad weather.

The Chinese Embassy said in a statement Sunday that it is sending a rescue vessel to pull out the fishing boats to safety because of the stormy weather and strong tide.


© 2012 The Associated Press

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