MANILA, Philippines — Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday.
“We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into,” Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China’s position.
The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace above the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
The Chinese foreign ministry later insisted it had sovereign rights to those waters, maritime features and the airspace above.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters approaching the coasts of the Philippines and other Asian neighbors.
In recent years it has caused alarm with increasingly aggressive actions to assert its claims.