MANILA, Philippines – Troops from Vietnam and the Philippines plan to hold joint "fun games" in the Spratlys to calm tensions over the disputed island chain in the South China Sea, Philippines Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said Tuesday (April 10th), according to AFP.
The islands, also claimed by China, are regarded as one of Asia's most dangerous potential flashpoints, but there will be no weapons involved.
"They will actually be doing games, like basketball or soccer (and) there will be no firearms (training) involved," Pama said
Apart from the games, he said troops from both sides would also boost information sharing on the weather and search and rescue operations involving fishermen who may run into trouble in disputed areas.
Asked whether other claimants to the Spratlys could also be invited, Pama replied: "There are no discussions along those lines."
The Philippines and Vietnam have both accused China of increasingly flexing its military muscle in the region, despite a pledge from all claimants to avoid actions that could further stoke tensions.