Duterte to talk to Chinese envoy over presence of ships in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will talk to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian over the presence of more than 200 Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea since “friends” can talk everything out, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Some 220 vessels believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel were spotted at the Julian Felipe Reef, prompting the Philippines to send a diplomatic protest to China.
China has since denied the alleged presence of its maritime militia in the disputed waters, saying such speculation only causes “unnecessary irritation.”
“Uulitin ko lang po ang sinabi kahapon ni Presidente, kakausapin niya ang Chinese ambassador tungkol sa isyung ito,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when sought to comment on China’s statement.
(I will just repeat what the President said, he will talk to the Chinese ambassador regarding this issue.)
“Ang sabi naman niya, wala namang hindi napaguusapan sa panig ng mga magkakaibigan,” he added.
(He said there is nothing that friends cannot talk about.)
China appeared to have defied the Philippines diplomatic protest after its vessels remained in place in the West Philippine Sea.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed grave concern over the presence of the Chinese ships as he called on China to stop the “incursion” and recall the vessels in the area.
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.