Philippine Daily Inquirer
CHINA PROTESTS PAG-ASA TRIP OF LORENZANA
China has protested the visit by the Philippines’ defense and military chiefs to a disputed island in the South China Sea, but the Philippine government maintains it owns the territory where Filipino troops and villagers have lived for decades.
The public argument comes amid a thaw in oncefrosty relations between the neighbors after President Duterte took office last June and moved to rekindle Manila’s friendship with Beijing, which has been strained by the long-seething territorial disputes.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año flew to Pag-asa Island with dozens of journalists on Friday to inspect an eroded airstrip, which the government plans to reinforce and lengthen.
They also met Filipino troops and villagers and took part in the flag-raising.