Four Killed, Eight Wounded in Military Training Accident in South China Sea


Japan opened the Yonaguni facility previous year, giving it a permanent intelligence-gathering post close to Taiwan and a group of islands disputed by Japan and China.

In a statement on May 18, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said the Philippines welcomes the completion of the drafting of the framework. It has the capability to discover, identify and attack enemy combat divers.

It noted that the South China Sea issue was discussed and officials were encouraged that, for the past few months, there have been no major disruptions and the situation in the area and region has become relatively more stable.

The Panganiban Reef, which is 70 nautical miles from Palawan and is located within the country's 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has been occupied by China since 1994, when Beijing transformed the reef into a highly fortified military garrison.

Before today's discussion on the South China Sea, Mr. Duterte has set aside the arbitral ruling until a later time, a position he has maintained since a year ago.

China's state-run Defense Times newspaper, in a report on its WeChat account, said Norinco CS/AR-1 55mm anti-frogman rocket launcher defense systems had been installed on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.

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During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing on May 14-15, leaders of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam expressed willingness to enhance cooperation with China and maintain regional peace and stability, according to the spokesperson.

Sta. Romana is also not sure as to what will happen after the bilateral talks except the easing of tensions between the Philippines and China.

The permanent secretary of Singapore's foreign ministry, Chee Wee Kiong, said what he called a "draft" framework would be submitted to a meeting between the foreign ministers of China and the ASEAN states in August in the Philippines.

China has collected samples of combustible ice in the disputed South China Sea which authorities here feel is a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution. Romana is a member of the Philippine delegation who will meet with their Chinese counterpart.

"Or more often in case the need arises", he said.