May 11 - Rising tensions over disputed South China Sea territory triggers an anti-China demonstration in Manila. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION This demonstration in Manila was the first of an anticipated wave of anti-China protests by Filipinos in the face of rising tensions between the two countries over the disputed waters of the South China Sea. The protest in the Philippine capital risks worsening strains over the disputed territory thought to possess abundant oil and gas reserves and fishing stocks. Tensions between Manila and Beijing heightened more than month ago, when Manila sent a warship to check on Chinese fishing boats in the region which escalated to involve four Chinese maritime surveillance vessels. The organisers of the demonstration in Manila planned similar protests at China's embassies and consulates in other Asian capitals, as well as in the United States, Canada, Australia and Italy. Chinese travel agencies have suspended tourist packages to the Philippines, and promised refunds to customers who have already booked, Chinese state media reported on Thursday. Chinese travellers make up the fourth largest inbound tourism market for the Philippines, behind South Korea, the United States and Japan. The row is one of many conflicting claims over islands, reefs and shoals in the South China Sea, that pit China against the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. Tensions have risen during the past two years because of fears that China, in its economic and military expansion, is becoming more assertive in its claims.