Philippines restarting upgrade of airfield in Pagasa Island – report

The Philippine Air Force has reportedly been transporting construction materials to Pagasa Island in West Philippine Sea. These materials include stones and sand, and various types of gasoline, Chinese news outlet China Daily reported citing an unidentified source.

According to unnamed source in the report, transport of materials to Pagasa Island is an indication that Philippines is preparing to restart upgrading the Rancudo Airfield in Pagasa Island.

This reported move by the Philippines was criticized by China.

“The Philippines keeps saying that the unilaterally initiated and forced arbitration case is not to resolve issues concerning territorial sovereignty, and plays hypocrite to announce a suspension to the construction on Zhongye Dao (Pagasa Island). Yet what we see is that the Philippines keeps flagrantly upgrading the airport on its illegally occupied Zhongye Dao of the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) from China, attempting to further extend its illegal occupation of Chinese territory and “legalize” its occupation through the arbitration tribunal,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said April 12 in a press conference.

“This reveals the inconsistency between Philippines’ words and actions, and fully proves the arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines an outright political provocation under the cloak of law,” he further said.

“China once again urges the Philippines to respect China’s territorial sovereignty and rights and interests, strictly abide by the UN Charter and other international laws and basic principles guiding international relations as well as the DOC, put an end to all actions that encroach upon China’s territorial sovereignty and rights and interests, and return to the right track of properly resolving disputes through bilateral negotiation at an early date,” the Chinese spokesperson added.

The Philippine government is yet to make a statement regarding the report from China Daily.