Philippines keeps its options open amid bid to defuse Whitsun Reef row with China

Manila and Beijing’s row over the massing of Chinese vessels in the contested South China Sea has plunged bilateral relations into uncharted waters, with both the Philippine defence and foreign affairs departments saying they were keeping their options open, and an official floating the possibility of expelling a Chinese diplomat.Tensions over the Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands, which both China and the Philippines claim, have heightened in the past month after more than 200 Chinese boats…

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