Philippines to raise with China its installation of rocket launchers in disputed waters
The Philippines could raise with China its reported installation of rocket launchers in the disputed South China Sea during the bilateral meeting later this week, Malacanang said on Thursday.
"I think that will be covered by the bilateral consultative mechanism," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing when asked about the reported China's installation of rocket launchers on the Fiery Cross in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Manila and Beijing are set to hold their first bilateral consultative mechanism in Guiyang, China on Friday to discuss the South China Sea issue.
"I'm sure that will be opened up - that will be touched on," Abella said.
Reuters, quoting the United States state-run Defence Times newspaper, said that China installed Norinco CS/AR-1 55mm anti-frogman rocket launcher defence systems with the capability to discover, identify and attack enemy combat divers on the Fiery Cross, which is also being claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Asked if China's latest move could affect its multi-million aid to the Philippines, Abella said the the reported installation of rocket launchers and the assistance were separate matters.
"These are two separate things aside from the economic relationships that we have," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS