Malacanang Ignore Chinese Warship Drill in South China Sea

Beijing shows its military might this week as its aircraft carrier Liaoning undoubtedly took part in a huge naval drill.

Malacañang downplayed the presence of Chinese vessels in the South China Sea, saying it is not a cause for concern for the Philippines.

“No cause (for) alarm as a show of force is not directed at us.”

Roque was referring to new satellite images from Planet Labs Inc. dated March 26 showing China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning at the center of formation of more than 40 other ships lined up in pairs in the South China Sea.

The pictures, taken by Planet Labs Inc., appear to Six submarines and two J-15 fighter jets appear to lead the “naval parade,” James Char, a military expert at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, told AFP.

“Such a formation serves more of as a visual spectacle with the Liaoning the status symbol of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army),” Char added.

Last week, the US warship USS Mustin passes as close as 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.

President Rodrigo Duterte has sought warmer ties with China, and so far ignoring an international court’s ruling on the maritime row in June 2016 upholding the Philippines’ claims over the contested islands.