South China Sea: Philippines deploys military aircraft to secure ‘territorial ...

The Philippines is one of the country’s which has clashed with China following the implementation of the nine-dash line policy. Under the policy, China lays claim to several island chains within the territorial boundaries of states such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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According to the country’s military, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) deployed three aircraft to join patrol duties in the South China Sea.

The inclusion of the aircraft is part of a wider operation in order to safeguard its present in the region.

Named under the Western Command, the operation will focus on what Manilla states as the “West Philippine Sea”.

In a statement from the PAF’s Tactical Operations Wing West, they said: “The Philippine Air Force has deployed three (3) AS-211 Aircraft for Maritime Air Patrol (MARPAT) in the Western Command’s Joint Area of Operation on 24 February 2020.

South China Sea: Tensions escalate in regionSouth China Sea: Tensions escalate in region (Image: GETTY)

South China Sea: Rodrigo Duterte had previously clashed with ChinaSouth China Sea: Rodrigo Duterte had previously clashed with China (Image: GETTY)

“Said air assets, that will be based at Tactical Operations Wing West, Antonio Bautista Air Base, will enhance the operational tempo of WESCOM in securing the territorial integrity of the country in the West Philippine Sea as well as the Malampaya Deep Water Gas to Power Project.”

Previously, the Philippines and China have clashed over the sovereignty of the Spratly Islands.

The island chain lies off the coast of the Philippines within the South China Sea and has fallen within Beijing’s nine-dash line.

Last week, China’s coastguard and militia had been deployed near to one of the largest islands within the Philippines’ control.

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