A Chinese military aircraft that landed at the Davao International Airport in the Philippines last week caused a firestorm on social media.
The Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, however, downplayed the June 8 landing.
Zhao Jianhua said, “The landing is very simple, it’s for refueling.”
Photos of the aircraft touching down made the rounds on social media sparking speculation and concern.
Jianhua said he was puzzled people took the jet landing as a, “kind of military threat to the Philippines.”
Philippine officials confirmed China requested to land and said it was, “received, processed and cleared by relevant Philippine government agencies.”
The Philippine Star, meanwhile, said the aircraft was an Ilyushin IL-76 strategic airlifter first used by the Soviet Union.
Reportedly, it’s designed for tactical and strategic airlift missions including transport of troops and evacuation.