Defense chief on Philippine-occupied island in disputed seas




  • In World
  • 2017-04-21 04:09:53Z
  • By Associated Press

PAG-ASA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine defense secretary and military chief of staff visited a Philippine-occupied island in the South China Sea on Friday to assert the country's claim to the heartland of a disputed area where China is believed to have added missiles on man-made islands.

The trip led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on an air force C-130 aircraft to the island Filipinos call Pag-asa will likely infuriate China, which has claimed virtually the entire sea and aggressively tried to fortify its foothold, to the consternation of rival claimant governments and the United States.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said China dissuaded him from flying to the island, also known internationally as Thitu, to raise his country's flag when the Philippines celebrates its Independence Day on June 12.

"So because of our friendship with China and because we value your friendship, we will not, I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag," he said in a speech last week in Saudi Arabia. He said he may send his son instead.

Lorenzana planned to inspect a dirt runway on the island in the Spratlys chain of islands, reefs and atolls that has been partly eroded and have lunch with Filipino troops and residents in a fishing village on the island.

The government plans to repair the 1.2 kilometer (0.75 mile)-long runway to allow more flights and improve safety. It plans to fortify small buildings on the island and eight much smaller reefs and atolls occupied by Filipino forces in the far-flung region.

With Lorenzana were the military chief of staff, Gen. Eduardo Ano and other military top brass with about 40 journalists on a trip that may highlight the territorial disputes a week before Duterte hosts an annual regional summit in Manila that's expected to spotlight the South China Sea conflicts.

COMMENTS

More Related News

China gasps at airy speech by grad student in US
China gasps at airy speech by grad student in US

A young Chinese woman has drawn criticism on social media after unfavourably comparing her homeland's air and politics to those in the US during her graduation speech at an American university. Speaking at the University of Maryland, Yang Shuping said that coming to the United States had been a breath of "fresh air" after growing up in China. "The moment I inhaled and exhaled outside the airport, I felt free," she continued, drawing a parallel between China's notorious air pollution and its similarly choking restrictions on political speech.

WHO meet refuses to admit Taiwan amid China pressure
WHO meet refuses to admit Taiwan amid China pressure

Despite impassioned pleas from several countries, the World Health Organization's annual assembly refused Monday to even discuss admitting Taiwan to the meeting, under pressure from China. Self-governing Taiwan, which China sees as a renegade province awaiting reunification, has been invited to attend the WHO's main annual meeting as an observer every year since 2009, but this year it did not receive an invitation. Relations with China have become increasingly frosty since Taiwan's Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power almost a year ago and China has sought to block the island from a string of international events.

China, Russia launch long-haul challenge to Boeing, Airbus
China, Russia launch long-haul challenge to Boeing, Airbus

China and Russia on Monday launched an ambitious project to jointly develop a long-haul jet to challenge Boeing and Airbus, just two weeks after the successful test flight of the first made-in-China large passenger plane. State-run Chinese manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said they formally established the previously announced joint venture in Shanghai on Monday.

Philippines
Philippines' Duterte heads to Russia in blow to US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte flies to Russia on Monday to meet his hero, seek arms and steer his nation's foreign policy course further away from longtime ally the United States. The five-day trip will cement a dramatic improvement in ties between the two nations since Duterte came to power last year and began unravelling the Philippines' decades-long alliances with the United States, which he accuses of hypocrisy and bullying. Duterte will on Thursday meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has described as his "favourite hero" and proclaimed a personal bond because of mutual passions such as guns and hunting.

Chinese paper applauds anti-spy efforts after report CIA sources killed
Chinese paper applauds anti-spy efforts after report CIA sources killed
  • World
  • 2017-05-22 03:02:06Z

An influential state-run newspaper applauded China's anti-espionage efforts on Monday after the New York Times said China had killed or imprisoned up to 20 CIA sources, hobbling U.S. spying operations in a massive intelligence breach. China's Global Times, published by the official People'

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.