Above is a photo of the Philippine Navy's BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a former US Coast Guard cutter. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the Philippines will send a navy ship to the Chinese navy's fleet review in April.
Philstar.com, File
Philippine Navy to send ship for Chinese fleet review
(Philstar.com) - January 23, 2019 - 2:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time, the Philippine Navy will send a vessel to participate in the Chinese navy's fleet review in April.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Tuesday confirmed that the Philippine government will be sending a navy vessel to China's People's Liberation Army Navy fleet review, according to a report from BusinessWorld.

Lorenzana said sending navy ships would be part of confidence-building activities between the Philippines and China.

Philippine Navy spokesperson Capt. Jonathan Zata said the country's participation in China's fleet review is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's policy of engaging with other countries aside from traditional allies and strategic partners.

"The Navy through its naval diplomacy role maintains good relations with other countries' navies while safeguarding our country's maritime interests," Zata said in a statement.

This announcement comes as the PLA Navy concludes its four-day goodwill visit to Manila.

Last Thursday, Chinese guided-missile frigates Wu Hu and Han Dan, as well as replenishment ship Dong Ping Hu, docked at Pier 15 in South Harbor.

In November last year, the PhilippineNavy sent a contingent in the first maritime exercises between China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states.

The Royal Singapore Navy and PLA Navy hosted the joint drills in Zhanjiang, China.

China and several Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, have overlapping claims over the South China Sea.

In July 2016, the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a ruling in favor of the Philippines, invalidating Beijing's nine-dash line claim over the contested waterway.

The Philippines, under the Duterte administration, has yet to assert the arbitration ruling in its negotiations with China while the latter refuses to acknowledge the landmark decision. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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