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FILE PHOTO: Chinese Coast Guard vessels fire water cannons towards a Philippine resupply vessel Unaizah on May 4 as it made its way to the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Adrian Portugal//File Photo

Filipino fisherman fleet floats toward fraught waters

A flotilla of Philippine fishing vessels was put to sea Wednesday to assert sovereignty over the disputed Scarborough Shoal — where China has dozens of ships waiting for them. Chinese vessels have injured sailors with water cannons over disputed shoals in the South China Sea before, so Manila has dispatched Coast Guard vessels and an aircraft to monitor the situation.

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and US. President Joe Biden walk to the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC.

REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool

Despite big US trip, Philippine leader still walks a Chinese tightrope

On Monday, US President Joe Biden welcomed Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to the White House almost 41 years after the latter's dictator dad had his last huddle with Ronald Reagan. (Fun fact: Thanks to diplomatic immunity, Bongbong visits America without fear of arrest despite an outstanding $353 million contempt of court fine over a lawsuit linked to the elder Marcos's human-rights abuses.)

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