Department of Foreign Affairs façade (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Philippine government on Tuesday expressed its "strong objection" to Taiwan's unlawful live-fire drills off the coast of Ligaw Island, describing the move as an "illegal activity" that "raises tensions and complicates the situation in the South China Sea."

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the island, also known as Itu Aba, is an integral part of the Kalayaan Island Group.

"The Philippines expresses its strong objection over the unlawful live-fire drills to be conducted by Taiwan (China) on 28 to 29 June 2022 within the vicinity of Ligaw Island," it said.

"Ligaw Island is an integral part of the Kalayaan Island Group over which the Philippines has sovereignty."

According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Taiwan took permanent possession of the feature in 1956. (PNA)