Duterte: China, Russia have respect for PH sovereignty
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s closer ties with China and Russia are because of their respect to the Philippines’ sovereignty, unlike the United States which does not, President Rodrigo Duterte has said.
“Nothing, except that you respect the sovereignty,” Duterte told Russian government-funded network RT in an interview aired Friday when asked what Russia and China can offer that the U.S. could not.
“Because America continues to look at us as a vassal state because we were under the Americans for 50 years and they lived off the fat of the land before we got our independence,” he said.
“So if I cannot get a credible posture from the Americans, I can get it from the Russians and the Chinese government. It’s because they respect the sovereignty of the country which America is totally lacking. It’s not only the Philippines, but it’s all over the world. They do not respect sovereignty,” Duterte added.
The President said this after the U.S. approved its national budget for this year which included a provision that bars the entry of Philippine officials should there be “credible information” that they were involved in the “wrongful imprisonment” of opposition Senator Leila De Lima.
Duterte, in response, ordered a travel ban on U.S. senators who sought De Lima’s release and had planned to impose visa requirements on Americans traveling to the Philippines.
“The United States says that with the sanctions they would not allow the entry of any official connected with the prosecution of Secretary De Lima. I counter that if you do that, I will not allow the Americans to enter the Philippines without a visa,” Duterte reiterated.
“It should be the US who should learn the lesson from us. Because they think that you are a backward country, that we are in vulnerable times, that we are incapable of dispensing justice,” he added.
The Philippines is locked in a long-time territorial dispute with China who claims sweeping ownership over the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in 2016 that China’s nine-dash line and historic rights claims are invalid. However, China refused to acknowledge the ruling.
Edited by MUF
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