PH has no military alliance with China, Duterte assures Abe | Global News

PH has no military alliance with China, Duterte assures Abe

/ 07:36 PM October 26, 2016


TOKYO – As the Philippines and Japan moved to strengthen their strategic partnership, President Duterte personally assured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he has no military alliance with China and that he would insist on the rule of law in the South China Sea.

Abe, in turn, backed Mr. Duterte’s move to improve ties with China and said he and the Philippine President have confirmed the importance to them of the peaceful resolution of disputes and compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.


“In that regard, Japan welcomes the effort of President Duterte visiting China and endeavor to improve and further advance the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China,” Abe said following his bilateral meeting with the Philippine President.


Japan is embroiled in its own territorial dispute with China, which involves uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, and has a strategic interest in the maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

Japan is also a close ally of the United States.

Mr. Duterte’s assurance to Japan that he would keep ties with it intact came on the heels of his four-day state visit to Beijing.

At the start of his expanded bilateral meeting with Abe, Mr. Duterte told the Prime Minister that he would remain an ally.

“You can rest assured, and I give you my word, that we would stand by you when the time comes,” he said.

He repeatedly assured the Japanese leader that the Philippines is not in a military alliance with China.


He also said he would seek a peaceful resolution of the Philippines’ maritime dispute with China in accordance with international law.

He also told Abe that when the time comes for him and Beijing to discuss the issue, he would cite the ruling of the arbitration court on the Philippine case against China, which invalidated its claim to nearly the whole of the South China Sea.

“Whether we like it or not, that someday we’ll have to talk about it and present our side and I said, in front of you, I cannot go out of the arbitral doctrine. I’m limited to what it says,” he said.

“There were no military alliances, no nothing, only pursuit of trade and commerce,” he added.

Mr. Duterte also said Japan would be a crucial dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which the Philippines will chair next year, in efforts to ensure adherence to the rule of law.

“The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region and uphold the shared values of adherence to the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes including the South China Sea,” he said.

In his meeting with Abe, Mr. Duterte also told the Prime Minister that the Philippines would remain “true and loyal” ally.

He noted as well that the issues that the Philippines and Japan were similarly situated, alluding to their maritime disputes with China.

He later assured Japan that he would remain by its side.

Stronger ties between the two countries would help promote peace in the region, they said in their joint statement.

“The two leaders look to their network of friendship and alliances, in particular the ever stronger ties between the Philippines and Japan, to help promote peace, stability, and maritime security of the region,” they said.

Mr. Duterte and Abe also signed five agreements during their expanded bilateral meeting.

These are:

-the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Communication of the Government of Japan and the Presidential Communications Operations Office

-the exchange of notes on Harnessing Agri-business Opportunity through Robust Environment Supportive of Entrepreneurship Transformation

-the exchange of notes concerning the maritime safety capability improvement project for the Philippines Coast Guard.

-the loan agreement between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Philippine government for the maritime safety capability improvement project for the Philippines Coast Guard, which would get two new large patrol vessels.

-the memorandum of Implementation for the transfer of TC-90 aircraft from Japan to the Philippines, and the exchanges of documents concerning the letter of arrangement on defense equipment TC-90

Mr. Duterte thanked Japan for all the assistance it has given to the country.

“Japan’s Official Development Assistance for the Philippines is second to none in terms of real value and the positive impact on the lives of the Filipinos,” he said.

The two countries agreed to harness the ODA as a tool for “positive economic and structural changes in the Philippines.”

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They also agreed to work together on political, security, and defense issues in order to create an enabling environment for their economies to grow.

TAGS: Duterte Japan visit, Japan, Military Alliance, Philippine news update, President Duterte, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South China Sea

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