MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Vietnamese and Philippine naval forces are to play football, volleyball and tug-of-war on a Spratly chain island in the South China Sea in an attempt to ease tensions where territorial spats with China have flared.

The two countries’ navies said in a joint statement that the daylong sports festival would be held Sunday on Vietnamese-occupied Southwest Cay Island and would also include cultural presentations.

Philippine navy officials were not immediately aware if the games had started because it was difficult to establish contact with their forces in the area.

China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping territorial claims in the Spratlys, a group of mostly barren islands, reefs and atolls that are believed to be sitting atop oil and natural gas deposits.