Duterte on South China Sea row: We did the correct step
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday insisted the Philippines was doing the “correct step” in dealing with the country’s maritime dispute with China over the South China Sea.
Duterte made the statement during an event with former Asean leaders, diplomats and senior government officials in Pasay City.
“I hope that Asean will grow strong and solve the serious problems confronting us,” he said in his speech.
“The South China Sea is one but we are not in a hurry,” he added.
After he assumed the presidency in June 2017, Duterte has repeatedly said he would not go to war with China and had in fact held bilateral talks to solve our longstanding maritime row.
In his speech on Thursday, Duterte said the Philippines did it the correct way.
“What we did was really the correct step and to avoid confrontational talks with almost all of the parties concerned, just ask for a limited time to solve the problem and sharing of the resources if it could be done,” he said.
In July 2016, the United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines and invalidated China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea. /je
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