The Philippine and Vietnamese navies got together to play soccer recently in the disputed South China Sea island, according to reports.
The navies of both sides have been playing various games on the island for a while but the latest was on Thursday when they met on Southwest Cay.
The Philippine side confirmed that it was the third event since 2014 between both sides on the island. The island in the Spratly Archipelago used to be held by the Philippines but the Vietnamese are in control now.
Both nations are concerned by the assertiveness of the Chinese authorities in the disputed region. They played soccer, volley ball, tug-of-war and other games as part of exchanges to demonstrate unity against the Super nation in the Far East.
Beijing has been steadily growing its presence in the Spratly region as in other disputed areas on the continent. The Philippines and Vietnamese joined up to show that they can put away differences when it really mattered. Both sides signed a strategic partnership in 2015 as they tried to fight off China and warm up to the United States.
Under current Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, tensions have been high as the president opted to confront the Chinese while turning hostile to the Americans. The soccer event was hoped would bridge some gap and send a message to concerned parties.