China, Philippines to negotiate rules to avoid maritime ‘miscalculations’

China and the Philippines will negotiate a military protocol to avoid maritime “miscalculations,” Manila’s defense minister said on Wednesday. The statement came following a brief standoff near a Philippine-occupied island in a disputed part of the South China Sea, Reuters reported. Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines tried to put up makeshift structures on a sand bar about 4km off Thitu Island in the Spratly archipelago in August, but China objected and sent ships to the area. President Rodrigo Duterte sought to defuse tensions by ordering troops to pull out, and construction was stopped.