Aquino: PH will not yield to China’s airspace claim
President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said that the government would not yield to China’s claim on the airspace over contested territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various agreements and treaties we have entered into through various decades,” Aquino said in an interview after his inspection of classrooms at the Marikina City Elementary School.
Aquino allayed fears that the Philippines would be confronted by China since Beijing had not yet declared the airspace over West Philippine Sea as an “air defense identification zone (Adiz).”
“Siguro baka dapat hindi muna natin pag-isipan na tayo ‘yung pag-iinitan ng isang bansa dahil wala pa ring idini-declare na Adiz doon sa tinatahak ‘nung ating mga carrier,” (Maybe we should not think that we would be targeted by another country because no Adiz has been declared yet in the areas plied by our carriers) the President added.
The President said China should weigh the ramifications of engaging the country in a direct confrontation.
“The disparity of force or available military force between our two countries is very clear. Will they not take that into consideration especially if they want to maintain a positive image with the rest of the world?” he said.
Aquino issued the statement a week after the Chinese military reportedly warned off a P8-A Poseidon, an advanced US military surveillance plane which flew over the West Philippine Sea.
The military plane is said to have taken off from the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
For its part, the US said that it would continue to have air and sea patrols in the disputed territories following its confrontation with the Chinese military.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.