Philippines to insist on tribunal ruling if China drills

/ 06:12 PM December 29, 2016
reef south china sea

A satellite image released on Dec. 13 shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems on Hughes (McKennan) Reef in the West Philippine Sea, part of the South China Sea. China has said it has no intention to militarize Hughes and six other artificial islands in the strategic waterway, where several countries have conflicting territorial claims.

President Rodrigo Duterte says he would insist on a ruling of an international arbitration that invalidated Beijing’s claims to most of the South China Sea if China starts to siphon minerals from the area.

His statement in an interview with CNN Philippines Thursday was a departure from his earlier pronouncement that he would set aside the July 12 ruling because he does not want to impose on China.


Duterte also criticized the United States, saying it did not do anything when China started building artificial islands in the disputed sea.

Duterte, who took office in June, has taken steps to mend relations with China that grew hostile during the time of his predecessor over the long unresolved territorial disputes.


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TAGS: China, Maritime Dispute, Philippines, South China Sea
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