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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine foreign secretary says his country won't take any steps against China in response to reports it apparently has installed anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons on its new artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Friday that while the United States and other countries might take actions to ensure freedom of navigation and overflight in the disputed waters, the Philippines will not take any steps that would reignite tensions.
When asked if the Philippine foreign affairs department plans to issue any statement or ask China to clarify, Yasay said, "We want to make sure that there will be no further actions that will heighten the tensions between the two countries."
Once-hostile ties with China have improved under current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.