China warns Philippine military planes away from disputed sea area: Manila




 
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May 7th, 2015  
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Topic: China warns Philippine military planes away from disputed sea area: Manila


By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - China has warned Philippine air force and navy planes at least six times to leave areas around the disputed South China Sea, the Philippine military commander responsible for the region told a Senate hearing on Thursday. While Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez gave no timeframe, a senior Philippine air force official told Reuters the warnings had come in the past three months. China could be "testing the waters" to see if it can enforce an air exclusion zone above the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, said the air force official, who declined to be identified. Recent satellite images show China has made rapid progress in reclaiming land around seven reefs it occupies in the Spratlys, including building what appears to be an airstrip on one of the artificial islands.




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