The Philippines’ latest move, a request for the use of US spy plane resources and technology, may send a ripple through the recently calmed waters of the South China Sea.
President Benigno Aquino plans to ask the US to deploy P3C Orion spy planes over the disputed waters, according to Asahi Shimbun. The announcement came just after tensions died down when both countries pulled out their vessels from the Scarborough Shoal. China seems to focus on Vietnam, after it laid sovereignty claims over the Spratlys, in its maritime law.
President Aquino’s new request for spy planes from its military ally could anger China, already irked by the US’ recently adopted “pivot to Asia” strategy, which keeps an eye on the rising power through military presence in the region. The US claims that it remains neutral in the dispute.
Aquino told Reuters that the Philippines’ efforts should not worry China, adding that the country does not have the capacity to become an aggressor to come up against a superpower.