Philippines to patrol disputed shoal despite China protest

The Philippine defense chief says the military will continue its aerial patrols of a Chinese-held shoal near the South China Sea despite protests from Beijing over the flights, especially using Japanese-donated aircraft.

When asked if the Philippine military will stop the surveillance of Scarborough Shoal following the protests from Beijing, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday the flights will continue because the area is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, giving the country internationally recognized sovereign rights.

A Philippine official said China raised concerns over the patrols, including one that used a Japanese-donated TC-90 plane, when Chinese and Philippine officials met to discuss their territorial disputes in Manila last month.

Japan turned over the last three of five TC-90 aircraft to the Philippines on Monday.