Philippines military deploys Japanese-donated patrol plane to disputed shoal

The Philippines military deployed a Japanese-donated patrol plane to a disputed shoal guarded by China in the South China Sea on Wednesday, AP reported. The aircraft did not encounter any Chinese resistance, according to officials. The Beechcraft King Air C90 flew low at 240m around Scarborough Shoal on its first mission for the Philippines navy, the military’s Northern Luzon Command said. It added that nine Chinese vessels were spotted, including four Chinese coast guard ships. “The Filipino pilots heard no challenge from the Chinese coastguard,” the military command said, referring to the practice of warning foreign vessels or aircraft by radio that they have entered Chinese-claimed territory and should leave immediately.