China claims most of the South China Sea, through which USD 5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.

China said on Monday it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a US spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed South China Sea in a diplomatic row that has fuelled tension between the world's two largest economies.

Philippine Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin said he would meet US Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday in Hawaii to ask for a stronger commitment.

"I will ask about the extent of the assistance they will give us, what they can do to help us because right now we are being oppressed," Gazmin told journalists at a naval base south of Manila.

He said the two sides would also discuss the transfer of Japanese military equipment to the Philippines to boost maritime security.

Latest News from World News Desk