China Tried to Block Sale of Fighter Jets to the Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines – A national daily in South Korea, The Chosunilbo, reported that China asked the South Korean government not to sell FA-50 fighter jets to the Philippines. The request was made before Philippine President Benigno Aquino III made a state visit to South Korea last October 17, according to the newspaper which cited Yomuiri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper report on Oct. 18.

However, South Korea reportedly declined China’s request stating it ‘cannot accept ‘interference’ in arms export, which Seoul considers an issue of national interest.’

When President Aquino visited Seoul, the two governments had signified keen interest in finalizing the plan of Philippines’ purchase of 12 FA-50 fighter jets in its attempt to bolster air defense amid threats from China in its ongoing territorial dispute in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The FA-50 fighter jet is manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and according to Defense News website, the  FA-50  ‘is armed with air-to-air, air-to-surface missiles and machine guns, as well as precision-guided bombs, such as joint direct-attack munitions and sensor-fused weapons. Fitted with Israel Elta System’s EL/M-2032 PULSE Doppler radar with a range of 100 kilometers, the jet is suitable for close-air support missions.’

The deal which will cost the Philippine government around P18.9 Billion and described by  Aquino and South Korean President Park Geun-hye  as a  government-to-government procurement, will be expedited in its purchase and delivery process as agreed by both leaders.

The Yomuiri Shimbun’s report was denied by South Korean government, although some officials admit to it in private.

“The Philippines is engaged in a territorial dispute with China over the Spratly Islands, and that appears to be why Beijing protested several times through the Chinese Embassy and other channels,” one South Korean official reportedly said, according to The Chosunilbo.

It also wrote that according to its source,”Every time the Korean or Filipino media reported on the FA-50 sale, China reacted sensitively trying to confirm the reports through diplomatic channels,”

But the newspaper also confirmed that despite the request, the deal would push through.

Aquino, when sought for comment regarding the latest development told reporters in an interview, “I have no information on that matter,” the President said.

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  1. There is no legit reason to block this sale. The Philippines needs to modernize its military across the board and this is just one small step to do so. China may want to keep the Philippines weak militarily but there are several justifications and reasoning for them to do so: 1) Internal conflicts in the Mindanao region 2) growing economy makes the Philippines an easy target from external sources 3) disputes of national boundaries 4) to demonstrate political strength 5) increase in pirate activity on the waters around the Philippines 6) Conservation of natural resources by using military patrols to protect wildlife preserves.

    1. no but they are with what they represent in the region, China would rather they roll over and play dead, China is like a school bully, they will keep doing until someone stands up to them.

  2. This is just part of advertising. The reason why they talked about war is to push through of their business, thus, its all about weapons and armaments. Viola! every country wants FA-50 for those who can afford it. (For security reasons?) common…

  3. China’s not afraid of the FA-50’s guns and missiles, but the indirect threat that they bring. The addition of these fighters will give the Philippines a quick-response option to anything that may cross its borders. These jets have mounted cameras and can capture pictures of ships, aircraft, boats and illegal installations.

  4. Tama lang ibili ng pinas ang pera ng bayan para sa ikauunlad ng dipensa ng ating bansa..kesa mapunta lang sa mga pulitikong gahaman sa pansariling interes.

  5. China has long been trying to conquer our country for some time now. Has everyone forgotten about the NPAs? They also called themselves CPP for very obvious reasons.

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