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The United States urged China on Saturday to stop harassing Philippine vessels in the South China Sea, pledging to stand with the Philippines after another maritime confrontation between the two Asian countries.

“We call upon Beijing to desist from its provocative and unsafe conduct,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

The Philippines on Friday accused China’s coast guard of “aggressive tactics” following an incident during a Philippine coast guard patrol close to the Philippines-held Second Thomas Shoal, a flashpoint for previous altercations located 105 nautical miles (195 km) off its coast.

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