DFA mum on China’s aerial drills off Batanes


The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday refused to comment on reports that Chinese military aircraft conducted drills over waters off Batanes early this week.

The drills were part of Beijing’s first aerial exercises over the western Pacific Ocean early this week.

“I’ll let you know if and when we’ll issue a statement,” Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said after The Manila Times asked him to comment on the news reports dispatched by China’s state news agency, Xinhua.

Highlighting Beijing’s growing military reach, several aircraft from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the Pacific Ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, it said.

“This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines,” the news agency quoted Army spokesman Shen Jinke as saying.

The drills aimed to “level up the PLA Air Force’s mobility and combativeness” over the “high seas,” Xinhua reported.

“The [drills are]not targeted at any certain country or targets and [carry]no threat against other countries and regions,” it again quoted Shen as saying.

The Bashi Channel is a waterway between Y’Ami Island of the Philippines and Orchid Island of Taiwan. It is a part of the Luzon Strait in the Pacific Ocean.

The Bashi Channel is an important passage for military operations, according to a 2007 edition of the Power and Interest News Report.

Both Taiwan and the Philippines dispute ownership of the waters.


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  1. Time on Target, DFA will let the public know when the shoals, islets, reefs and rocky promontories are conquered and secured by the PLA. AFTER ALL, what RP can do? NOTHING. Send those thousands and thousands of NOTE VERBALE through your shoulder fired RPG’s all the way to the UN in NY.

    RP is absolutely a no show when international skirmishes commences. We are talking of course of Surface to air Missiles, HARPOONS, ASROC, …let alone ballistic missiles, modern tanks, state of the art APC’s, F-16’s/MIG’s/Rafales, EuroFighters,

  2. No worry. The Philippine Air Force is ready to scramble 12 Squadrons of TORA-Toras, and 12 more Squadrons of heavy bombers OV-10’s – to shoo off these Chinese sub-sonic jetfighters. And our Ballistic Submarine Force in Poro Point, La Union comprising 6 attack submarines are standing by ready to sail on short notice. These will be augmented by the Destroyer Fleet stationed off Subic, Zambales. To be complimented by the Frigate Fleet off Palawan. With this military posture show of self-defense, RP is ready to assert her territorial integrity without the help of Mighty Big Brother Sam. But the mirages are beginning to crystallize, all the sea borne crafts are mere paper props.

    • Bok sumakit tiyan ko sa katatawa! Hanggang imagination na lang tayo Bok! Wala na Bok ibinigay na lahat sa china yung sa atin sa Spratlys at susunod na yan Ayungin at Pag Asa Island.

  3. With the corruptions at DND then and now we wont be getting the right weapons to depend our country externally and offensive weapons internally.How can a person live and feed his or her family with corruption money and we talk about love,god and yet people are dying out there of hunger and disease because of this crook people.That is why we need a strong honest dedicated team of people that will form a transition government civilian/ military and sanitize the country of corruptions.

  4. The biggest blunder committed by Harry Truman against D. Macarthur vision’s toward China is now a blinding reality. The bullying and no-respect posturing of Red China toward the Philippines’ leadership is humilating that should be dealt with equal zeal. The question is who among corrupt officials or among TRAPOs of the Philippines will be listened to by Red China.

  5. vagoneto rieles on

    Itbayat and Batan Islands, the bigger islands of the Batan Archipelago, (the Batanes), are just south of the Bashi Straits and are closer to Taiwan than they are to Luzon. These islands are probably areas of interest in the ongoing Chinese ‘Aereal Exercises’, and.. given what is now going on in the Spratleys.. could be the next hosts to Chinese occupants. We voiced concerns over this possibility about a year ago when the Chinese started building structures in the Spratleys. The Philippines’ ownership and sovereignty over all of the ‘Batanes’ have never been questioned at all. To ensure this going forward, we must be vigilant and proactive.
    It is distressing to note that while we seem to be losing territory in the Spratleys, unwillingly, to the Chinese, we are readily and eagerly giving up land in Mindanao to the MNLF.

  6. Wala ng pag asa ang pinas. unti2x ng pinapasok ng china ang ating bansa. at nananaig na ang kanilang kagustuhan na pasukin ang hindi nila teritoryo sa kabila ng ating pananahimik.

  7. Ano ang masasabi ng DFA? Wala. Wala tayong mga fighter jets to intercept Chinese planes – zero! Bumili ng helicoptes ang PAF – refurbished lang pala, mali pa ang piyesa – dahil sa KICKBACKS!

    • Walang foresight ang atin AFP at imbes priority ang bilhin Fighter Jets, ang binili Sukol,UH-1? At C295 Cargo Plane! Dito pa lamang makita mo na Kung ano pag iisip meron ang atin AFP. Hindi nga marunong I manage ang different threat sa bansa at pinasok tayo ng china at dumami ang MILF, so anong ma expect natin, Wala di ba!

    • Nothing! All talks and protest to the bones. He won’t do anything that might affect his different bussiness interest in the country. They will just handover the different problems both the internal and external to the next administration.

  8. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    Nasaan ngayon ang mga LEFTISTS, Bayan, Gabriela, NPAs at iba pang nagkukunwaring may malasakit sa bayan. Pag Intsk ang magnanakaw ng mga isla ng Pilipinas ay tameme sila pero pag sinabing utulungn ng US ang Pilipinas ay makikita mo sila sa bawat kalye Metro Manila na ng-rarally. Magkano kaya ang ibinabayad ng China sa mga LEFTISTS at mga tongressmen at Senatongs para tumahimik sila. Walang masasabi ang mga Binays dahil karamihan ng kanilang dummies ay mga Intsik.

  9. Quiet lang pinas sa drill wala kasing pang intercept na Fighter Jets kahit nasa bunganga na ng Batanes coastal ang drill ng china..kaso sa west Pacific daw ginawa..

  10. Sure, our government will not say anything. I heard one Chinese said, ” If the Philippines fired a single shot on us, the Philippines will immediately know the real owner of those shoals and reefs”.