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Philippines govt objects to China’s naming of undersea features in offshore region

The Philippines government rejects Chinese names given to some undersea features in a vast offshore region where the Philippines has undisputed sovereign rights. Manila has already raised its concern with China over its naming of the undersea features in Benham Rise and may officially notify the international hydrographic body that lists such records, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Wednesday. Beijing proposed the names for the features in 2015 and 2017, he said. Benham Rise lies on the other side of the Philippine Archipelago from the South China Sea, where Manila, Beijing and four other governments have been locked in territorial disputes. Critics have questioned why President Rodrigo Duterte’s office allowed a group from China to undertake scientific research in the waters.