Duterte: China should ‘temper’ behavior in South China Sea
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said China should “temper” its behavior in the South China Sea after the Chinese navy threatened a Philippine military aircraft in its latest known flight over China’s man-made islands in the disputed sea.
“You cannot create an island and you say that the air above the artificial island is your own. That is wrong. The right to innocent passage is guaranteed,” Duterte told businessmen and diplomats in a speech in Malacañang.
“I hope that China would temper its behavior. I do not want to quarrel with China,” he added.
The President asserted that ships would not need “any permission to sail through the open seas.”
“And if it’s nearby a territorial water you guarantee what you would call the right of innocent passage,” he said.
The call of Duterte on China to temper its actions in the South China Sea could be his boldest statement after Manila has sought friendlier diplomatic ties with Beijing following our sea row. /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.