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Claims of Chinese invasion are “nonsense”, Ambassador says

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This aerial photo taken on January 2, 2017 shows a Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills in the South China Sea. The aircraft carrier is one of the latest steps in the years-long build-up of China's military, as Beijing seeks greater global power to match its economic might and asserts itself more aggressively in its own backyard. / AFP PHOTO / STR / China OUT

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said claims of a looming Chinese invasion are “nonsense”.

This follows the confirmed landing of a Chinese military aircraft at the Davao International Airport on Sunday that some claim signifies the beginning of China’s invasion of the Philippines.

“Well it’s your protocols we have followed. Now we have applied through your agencies, through your militaries and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the landing,” Mr. Zhao said in an interview with Palace reporters during the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the proclamation of the Philippine independence on Tuesday in Kawit, Cavite.

The Chinese official reiterated that “the landing [was] very simple, it’s for refueling.”

“The plane was on its way to New Zealand for a bilateral military exercise. But I’m really puzzled and even surprised that some of the people here [are] taking the landing of Chinese military jets as a kind of a military threat to the Philippines, and they even indicated that this might be the beginning of our invasion. Please allow me to be blunt, it’s nonsense. We have never thought of going to war with our good neighbor, our good friend that is the Philippines,” the ambassador explained.

Asked if it is a normal practice for Chinese military aircrafts to land in the country for refueling, Mr. Zhao said, “You have your protocols that allow foreign airplanes to house over your territory or water or [to] fly over your airspace. But all foreign jets, including civilian or military, they should follow your protocols and procedures. If you do not allow the Chinese there to land or fly over your airspace, we are not there to do that because you might shoot them down.” – Arjay L. Balinbin