For the first time, the Philippines is sending one of its warships to a fleet review hosted by China in April, in a marked shift in ties between the two former sea rivals.
A spokesman said on Wednesday (Jan 23) that the Philippine navy had yet to decide which ship and how large a contingent to send to the event that marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese navy on April 23.
The fleet review is to be held in the coastal city of Qingdao, eastern Shandong province.
The Philippines’ participation is meant to reciprocate last week’s port call in Manila by two Chinese guided-missile frigates and their supply ship, according to Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
That was the second port call by Chinese warships to the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in mid-2016.