AFP chief suspends sending cadets to China

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 31) — The country will temporarily stop sending Filipino cadets to China because of the Ayungin Shoal incident early this month.

"I ordered the temporary stoppage of sending officers to China," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Romeo Brawner Jr. said during a Commission on Appointments' Committee on National Defense hearing on Wednesday.

READ: Chinese coast guard fired water cannons at PH vessels en route to Ayungin Shoal - PCG

Brawner told the committee that he received an invitation from China last week to send cadets who will join a worldwide conference.

"Hininto muna natin, hindi muna tayo magpapadala this year [We temporarily stopped, we will not send cadets this year]," he said.

The AFP chief added that there are currently no Filipino cadets in China for advanced schooling, and vice versa.

The student exchange program with Beijing has been covered by a memorandum of agreement on defense cooperation since 2004 to foster stronger military ties.

But considering China's use of water cannon against the country's vessels in the West Philippine Sea, Brawner said he has ordered a review of the agreement.