PH, Viet sports event on Parola Island not meant to provoke China—Wescom chief
PHILIPPINE and Vietnamese Navy troops played ball games and other sports on Parola Island (Northeast Cay), a Philippine detachment in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) on Wednesday amid China’s aggressive actions in the disputed seas.
“There will be short remarks by the visiting group’s heads from both navies after symbolic handshakes. The simple ceremony will be followed by sports events comprised of volleyball, football, tug-of-war, sack race and centipede race. Game results aren’t known as of press time,” Navy spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.
Last year, both navies also had a similar event in Pugad Island (Southwest Cay), a Vietnamese detachment located a few miles away.
This year’s activity is one of the many engagements and cooperation between these neighbors and counterpart navies, Arevalo said.
The event aims to bring “camaraderie and understanding” and “enhance cordial relations while engaging opponent teams through sports events.”
Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, meanwhile, said they are doing similar engagements with other Asian nations, and should not be seen to provoke China.
China claims most parts of resource-rich West Philippine Sea, which is also a major trade route.
China has displayed its assertiveness in recent months in the disputed waterway. It has made a rapid progress in its reclamation activities in the West Philippines and has recently challenged US and Philippine planes on patrol. AC
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