The Philippines has decided to shelve planned upgrades to facilities on Spartly islands it controls, such as repairing an eroded runway, to avoid incurring China’s wrath.
The Philippine foreign ministry sent a note verbale to the Chinese embassy last month after confirming a report from the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies about China’s arms buildup in the Spratlys, Reuters reported Tuesday.
“The actions of China in militarising those disputed features are very troubling,” defence minister Delfin Lorenzana was quoted as saying by Reuters in a statement. “They do not square with the Chinese government’s rhetoric that its purpose is peaceful and friendly.”
Lorenzana took a stronger line than foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay, who on Tuesday refrained from criticising China but said the issue had to be handled carefully and the public should know “we are not sleeping on the job”.
“When something happens that can pose us some kind of threats to our sovereignty rights we issue a note verbale so we can talk about it and make sure it is properly addressed,” he told ANC television.
China’s recent installation of weapons on artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea was “very troubling”, the Philippines’ defence minister said on Tuesday, after Manila quietly protested Beijing’s activities.
With billions of dollars of potential Chinese trade and investment at stake, the Philippines has a difficult balancing act in upholding its sovereignty claims while staying on the better terms that President Rodrigo Duterte has established with historic rival China.
Mischief Reef, one of the islands where China has modern weapons, is located within the Philippines’ 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
Lorenzana said a diplomatic protest was the correct procedure and despite warming relations with China, the government still had a duty to protect the national interest.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion of goods passes annually. An international arbitration ruling last year invalidated those claims.
China’s artificial islands became a hot issue last week when the US nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, told a Senate hearing that Beijing should be repelled from, and then denied access to, the controversial islets.
Yasay last week suggested the Philippines would play no part in that, and said of the US, “Let them do it”.
Philippines will be establishing space agency for application of global navigation satellite systems to address the need of national security and disaster management. The senator Sen
Philippines has been offered guns and equipment worth US$14 million (RM62.6 million) by China to fight against drugs and terrorism
US has approved the proposed sale of $25 million worth AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe 3D Air Search Radars to Philippines. The sale also includes installation, training, testing, and support services, The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday
The Philippines has chosen to stop allowing the US, its defense ally, from staging patrols in its territory for South China Sea missions, in order to smooth out territorial disputes with China. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Philippines will not allow its territory to be used as a staging ground for US patrols, AP reports
Philippines has decided to accept firearms offer from China which will be payable over 25 years, President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday. "China is pressing me on the firearms, which are already there
Chinas three outposts on contested Spartly Islands Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reef bases are near ready for deployment of military assets including mobile missile launchers. Beijing's Fiery Cross Reef base in the Spratly Islands now has 12 hardened shelters, four more than seen in February, with retractable roofs that can house missile launchers, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative was quoted as saying by AFP after analysing satellite photographs
Philippine Air Force (PAF) will receive the final batch of two FA-50PH training aircraft from South Korea Wednesday. The final batch of FA-50PH Fighter/Surface Attack/Lead-in Fighters Training Aircraft with tail numbers 011 and 012 from South Korea at the Haribon Hangar, Air Force City, Clark Air Base, Pampanga, Air Force spokesman Col
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Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) will use its TC-90 aircraft leased from Japan to patrol the West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise, where China has been attempting to incur. The Philippines Navy officially received the first two of five TC-90 patrol planes from Japan yesterday,
Philippine Navy will receive two of the three Multi-Purpose Attack Crafts (MPAC) with options for missile armament by third quarter of this year. “These two MPACs will be delivered by this third quarter and will have provisions for missile armament,” Philippine Navy spokesperson Captain Lued Lincuna said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency Tuesday
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