Duterte: No invasion of China in disputed waters
“We were not invaded,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday night, contradicting the claim of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that Chinese ships were now guarding a newly created island in the West Philippine Sea.
Carpio has described this as an “invasion of Philippine territory by China.”
“Hindi naman na invade eh,” Duterte told reporters in a press conference in Malacañang. “Hindi naman totoo ung sinasabi ni [Carpio]. They are just there, but they are not claiming anything.”
Duterte said he called the Chinese ambassador, Zhao Jianhua, when he read about the supposed invasion.
Carpio said Chinese ships had occupied Sandy Cay, a sandbar located around 4.6 kilometers from Pag-asa Island, the biggest island controlled by the Philippines in the South China Sea.
“I called the ambassador nung nabasa ko. He said: ‘We will assure you that we are not building anything there’,” Duterte said.
He said China assured him that they would not build anything there.
Asked what the Chinese vessels were doing there, he said: “Wala. Nagpapatrol kasi magkaibigan man kami.” /atm
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