In a move that may impact relations with China, Philippines Defence Secretary, Delfin Lorenza, announced plans to spend US $26 million to build up military infrastructure on an island in the South China Sea.
Pag-Asa, known internationally as Thitu Island, remains a disputed territory in the South China Sea that China and Vietnam claim sovereignty upon.
The island has mainly been occupied by fishermen and Filipino forces up until recently, where many have spotted an increasing number of Chinese fishing vessels and coastguard ships in its nearby waters.
While many have speculated that this move could result in the island becoming a potential flashpoint between the two countries in the future, Lorenza insisted that China will not make any offensive moves with regards to the island.
“So we are safe here [and] the purpose is to develop a safe, viable community,” mentioned Lorenza.