Chinese travel agencies have banned citizens from traveling to the Philippines, as tensions escalated over the disputed islands in the South China Sea. Companies such as Ctrip.com and Beijing International Travel Service reported that they will suspend bookings until the situation improves and promised refunds to affected costumers. The Chinese embassy in the Philippines had already warned their citizens to avoid the streets in Manila during planned anti-China protests on Friday. The standoff between the two countries began when several Chinese vessels were found in the waters of the Scarborough Island/Huangyan Island. China accused the Philippines of raising risks of confrontation after it urged other countries to take a stand against China’s aggression on claiming territories in the South China Sea. The area is said to have undiscovered oil reserve. The United States promised to give military aid to improve the Philippines’ navy.