Asia Unhedged | Defying Chinese warnings, Philippine defense chiefs arrive on disputed island
Philippine soldiers stationed at Thitu island stand at attention as they sing as part of the welcome ceremony programme for Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during a visit to the island in The Spratlys on April 21, 2017. Photo: AFP, Ted Aljibe
Philippine soldiers stationed at Thitu island stand at attention as they sing as part of the welcome ceremony programme for Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during a visit to the island in The Spratlys on April 21, 2017. Photo: AFP, Ted Aljibe
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Defying Chinese warnings, Philippine defense chiefs arrive on disputed island

The top military officials landed on the island of Thitu to reinforce claims on Friday, following president Duterte’s recent decision to cancel his visit

April 22, 2017 3:02 AM (UTC+8)

On Friday a Philippines military C-130 transport aircraft landed on the island of Thitu, to reinforce the country’s claims over the disputed territory.

The New York Times reports that the Chinese challenged the flight via radio at least four times while the aircraft was on route to the island, though the Philippine defense secretary played down those claims, saying it was standard protocol.

The visit comes after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently canceled a planned trip to the island under pressure from China, which also lays claim to the territory.

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