Duterte asks China to help fight sea piracy, kidnappings
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said it has asked China to help patrol international waters amid incidents of maritime kidnappings and piracy off Philippine waters.
“I also asked China, if they can patrol the international waters without necessarily intruding into the territorial waters. We would be glad for their presence there,” Duterte said in a speech after the oathtaking of newly promoted military generals at Malacanang.
The President said China has helped prevent maritime kidnapping and piracy in the waters off Somalia.
“We would be glad if they have their presence there. Hindi naman kailangan gray ships eh (No need for gray ships). Sabi ko, basta iyong (I said even a) Coast Guard cutter, just to patrol, like what they did in Somalia, tumulong sila (they extended help). Somalia has toned down. Pero dito sa (But in ) Malacca Strait, pati dito sa (also in) Sulu Sea, it remains to be a big problem,” he said.
Duterte said there was a need to stop piracy, especially in trade routes to avoid increase in the costs of goods and services.
The Philippines and China have been embroiled in a long-standing maritime dispute over parts of the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.
But tension eased during the Duterte administration which has been friendly to Beijing./ac
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