MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines says China has withdrawn its boats from the lagoon of a tiny disputed shoal that has been the focus of the countries' territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
The Philippine government earlier pulled out the two vessels it had at Scarborough Shoal but President Benigno Aquino III last week threatened to send them back unless China also withdrew.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Monday that he has received information that all boats have left the shoal's lagoon as of two days ago.
Both countries claim the shoal. Tensions flared in April when the Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poaching there.