'PROVINCE OF CHINA' BANNERS RILE MANILA
At least five red banners reading Welcome to the Philippines, province of China in English and Chinese appeared on bridges over busy thoroughfares in Manila before being taken down by authorities. Their appearance marked the second anniversary of an arbitration court decision in The Hague proclaiming that China had no historic title over the South China Sea, and that it had run afoul of Philippines sovereignty by keeping its fishermen out of their waters and constructing artificial islands in an exclusive economic area. No one has taken responsibility, but some suspect it was an attempt to bring attention to the nation's warming relations with China. President Rodrigo Duterte drew ire in February when he jokingly offered to make the Philippines a province of China.