Asia Philippine military chief vows to defend island in South China sea

Philippine military chief vows to defend island in South China sea

Filipino soldier patrols shore of Pag-asa island during the visit of Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.
Filipino soldier patrols shore of Pag-asa island during the visit of Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.

The Philippines’ military chief flew to an island occupied by his country in the South China Sea on Monday and vowed to defend the territory and help develop tourism and marine resources there amid disputes with China.

General Gregorio Pio Catapang, accompanied by journalists and other military officials, said he visited Pag-asa island to establish that the island is part of western Palawan province and “therefore Pag-asa is a territory of the Republic of the Philippines”. The island’s international name is Thitu and in China it is called Zhongye.

He vowed to defend it and other Philippines-claimed islands in the area from aggression.

“According to our constitution these are our regime of islands and we have to protect our regime of islands, in as much as they form our territory and sovereignty,” Catapang added

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