The Armed Forces of the Philippines has confirmed that China fired warning flares to Philippine military planes while they were conducting maritime patrols in West Philippine Sea this year.
The revelation was made by Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao, deputy chief of staff for intelligence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a House of Representatives briefing on Tuesday this week.
He said the flares, which originated from China-held military outposts, were meant to warn Filipino pilots to stay away from the disputed waters.
“China has been deploying its assets to hinder Filipino operations both patrols and rotation and re-provision missions in the West Philippine Sea,” the official said.
Incidents about warning flares being fired by Beijing against Philippine military aircrafts have happened for about six times early this year.
China is among claimants of the South China Sea with its nine dash line theory which was debunked by an international court in 2016.
The military official said China is considered to be the ”most aggressive” among claimants.
Some 17 Chinese vessels were also spotted in the eastern seaboard of the country from January to June this year. (TN)