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EXCLUSIVE - Philippines wants U.S. spy plane help in China dispute
July 2, 2012 / 10:31 AM / 5 years ago

EXCLUSIVE - Philippines wants U.S. spy plane help in China dispute

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Monday he may ask the United States to deploy spy planes in the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, a move that may reignite tension with its giant neighbour China.

U.S. President Barack Obama sits next to Philippine President Benigno Aquino (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington June 8, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing /Files

“We might be requesting overflights on that,” Aquino told Reuters in an interview, referring to U.S. P3C Orion spy planes. “We don’t have aircraft with those capabilities.”

Last month, Aquino pulled out a lightly armed coast guard ship and a fisheries boat due to bad weather around a group of rock formations about 140 miles (225 km) we st of the main Philippine island of Luzon, ending a two-month standoff between the two sides.

Reporting By Stuart Grudgings, Manny Mogato and Rosemarie Francisco. Editing by Jason Szep

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