DAVAO CITY – President Duterte mentioned Chinese vessels crusing near disputed waters off the Philippines did not violate the nation’s sovereignty, saying ships from different nations could be welcome to dock in Philippine ports.
Mr. Duterte made the assertion in response to experiences the Chinese have been establishing radar and different surveillance installations near the Panatag Shoal off western Philippines.
“We can not stop China from doing those things. Hindi nga nabawalan ang mga Amerikano (Even the Americans could not stop them),” Duterte mentioned throughout a press convention right here shortly earlier than flying for his state go to to Myanmar.
Mr. Duterte mentioned the Philippines may not danger igniting a warfare in opposition to China on the problem of sovereignty.
He mentioned China and even the United States have been exercising their proper of passage to the waters off the nation.
“What do you want me to do? Declare war against China? I can but we will all lose,” the President mentioned.
In his talks with Chinese officers, Duterte mentioned he did not invoke the United Nations-backed arbitration ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, favoring the Philippines within the West
“But there will be time in my term when I will bring the issue back on the table. When? When they will start to tinker with your entitlement,” Mr. Duterte mentioned.
“Your ships are welcome just like Russia’s to come here and dock, and let me see your armaments there. Just do not do anything to my coast guard personnel if they visit your ships,” he added.
The President clarified solely coast guard ships could make sail-bys, and not the so-called “gray ships” of the Philippine Navy. He mentioned Chinese vessels noticed near the disputed shoal have been these from the Chinese coast guard.
“It was the US that sent gray ships there,” Duterte mentioned.
“Coast guard (ship) does not mean war. Gray ships mean you are in an aggressive form,” the President mentioned.
Mr. Duterte mentioned China may train its proper of passage to those space, including US navy ships have been commonly crusing there.
“Why should I discriminate against China? We are not at war against China. We are not at war against America. Yet American ships come and go,” he mentioned. SFM