No special considerations for Chinese planes that landed in Davao, says envoy

Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2018 01:15 AM | Updated as of Jul 26 2018 11:37 PM

There were no special considerations made for the two Chinese military planes that arrived in Davao City last month, Chinese envoy Zhao Jianhua said Wednesday. File/Karl Norman Alonzo, Malacañang Photo

DAVAO CITY—There were no special considerations made for the two Chinese military planes that arrived in the city last month, Chinese envoy Zhao Jianhua said Wednesday.

The ambassador said the aircraft obtained permission from the government and did not intend to raise speculations amid close ties between the Philippines and China.

"We do that in accordance with the requirements for approval by (the) department concerned in the Philippines. The plane landed in Davao and the ship visited to Davao are all permitted by the Philippine authorities," he told reporters after the Asia-Pacific Healthy Islands Conference 2018.

"Without their permission, they would not have come here. That is international diplomatic protocol."

When asked why the military aircraft visited President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown, the envoy cited technical issues and convenience.

"But for me, I have come to Davao nearly 20 times simply because it is your President's hometown," he added.

On June 8, a Chinese plane landed at Davao Airport to refuel before going to Australia. On June 23, another Chinese plane landed for the same reason.

A Chinese research vessel also docked in Davao City on July 16 for a goodwill visit.

The docking of the ship came amid tensions between Manila and Beijing over China's continuous militarization and alleged bullying of Filipino fishermen in disputed areas in the South China Sea.