Chinese military plane landing in Philippines leading to invasion? "It's nonsense" - Zhao
Kawit, Cavite - Chinese Ambassador to the Philippine Zhao Jianhua slammed on Tuesday those who were saying that the landing of Chinese military aircraft in the Philippines could end up to invading the country.
In an interview with reporters after the Independence Day program led by President Rodrigo Duterte here, Zhao said the landing of the Chinese plane in Davao City on June 8 was "very simple, it's for refueling."
"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 military threat to the Philippines. And even they indicated that this might be the beginning of our invasion," he said.
"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," Zhao stressed.
Some quarters, including lawmakers, have raised concern regarding the lack of transparency about the landing of Chinese military plane in Davao, the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte, late last week.
Senator Panfilo Lacson has questioned the landing of People's Liberation Army Air Force military transport plane IL-76 at the Davao International Airport, saying the Philippines might later wake up as a colony of China.
Zhao said China followed the Philippine protocols and applied through the different government agencies, including the military and the Department of Foreign Affairs, when its plane landed in Davao.
He said their plane was on its way to New Zealand for bilateral military exercise.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the Chinese aircraft was on its way to Cairns, Australia when it made a stopover for refueling.
"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," Zhao said. Celerina Monte/DMS