Palace: Duterte won’t give ‘an inch’ of PH territory to other states
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not give an inch of Philippine territory to other states, Malacañang said Monday amid calls from China to “stop illegal provocations” in the disputed South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed that the Philippines allegedly violated China’s security and sovereignty after sending military aircraft close to the Spratly Islands, which Beijing calls Nansha Islands.
“Consistent naman po ang ating Presidente, he will not give even an inch of our national territory or sovereign rights to any other state,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(Our President is consistent, he will not give even an inch of our national territory or sovereign rights to any other state.)
On the same note, Roque maintained that the two nations’ sea dispute will not affect its bilateral talks on trade and investment.
“Hindi po magiging dahilan itong unresolved issue sa ating teritoryo bilang hadlang para isulong ang ating diplomatic bilateral relations with China; ‘yung mga bagay na pupwede namang isulong, gaya ng kalakal at investments,” he said.
(Unresolved issues on our territory will not hamper our diplomatic bilateral relations with China like trade and investments.)
The Department of Foreign Affairs had earlier filed a diplomatic protest against China over its illegal confiscation of Filipino fishermen’s equipment in the Scarborough Shoal or locally known as Bajo de Masinloc last May.
China has consistently refused to acknowledge the July 2016 ruling of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that invalidated Beijing’s nine-dash line claim, which covers almost the entire South China Sea.
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