PH Navy wins vs China in goodwill games of basketball, tug of war
The navies of the Philippines and China on Monday faced off not at the contested West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) but in the field of sports in Davao City.
The goodwill games were part of the three-day visit of the Chinese Navy in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Philippine Navy won overall in the goodwill games. It led by four points in the basketball game against China at 68-64.
At the tug of war, China won the first round, but the Philippines won the last two rounds.
Chinese vessels — Chang Chun, a guided-missile destroyer; Jin Zhou, a guided-missile frigate; and Chao Hu, a replenishment ship — docked on Sunday at Sasa Wharf.
The visit comes after a toned-down statement on the South China Sea dispute at the end of the Asean summit held in Manila.
The relationship between the Philippines and China improved when Duterte assumed office last year. His predecessor, President Benigno Aquino, took China to a world arbitration court over the South China Sea issue in 2013.
In the court ruling in 2016, the Philippines won the case but the current administration seems to have no plans to use it against China.
Both China and the Philippines are claimants to the strategic waterway, believed to be rich in resources. Frances Mangosing/JE/rga
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