e4d7cec61036b5041dc975c50ad236ab9edf1603The United States criticized China as provocative Monday after its coast guard tried to block a Philippine vessel that was rotating troops in the tense South China Sea. The attempted Chinese blockade, which led to a two-hour standoff with the Philippine ship, is “a provocative and destabilizing action,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters. Harf said that the Philippines had permission to resupply troops to the remote reef, the Second Thomas Shoal, because it has kept a naval presence there since before a 2002 declaration of conduct in the South China Sea. More