Duterte says PH, China can do ‘plain talk’ about Spratlys, Filipino fishing rights
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said there is no disagreement between China and the Philippines and that the two nations can discuss the Spratlys island and Filipino fishermen’s fishing rights in “plain talk.”
During the inauguration of the China-funded Binondo-Intramuros bridge, Duterte thanked the People’s Republic of China for its “confidence and for being a partner in enhancing key infrastructure projects” in the Philippines.
“Ambassador Huang, the Philippines, and China, we don’t have any quarrel and we can talk about the Spratly Islands and probably the fishing rights of my countrymen, plain talk, nothing else,” he said in a speech.
Through this, Duterte added, the Filipino people will be given the chance to experience economic growth and enhance productivity.
“In doing so, our nation is likewise working together towards greener, more sustainable, and climate change resistance infrastructure,” he said.
“As my administration comes to a close, we remain committed to providing a comfortable life for every Filipino through various opportunities for growth and success,” he also said.
“It is our hope that present and future generations will enjoy enhanced mobility and connectivity through the innovative physical integration,” he added.
In March, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against China over the presence of a Chinese vessel near the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Wengbin, meanwhile, insisted that the shoal is China’s “inherent territory” and the Philippines should “avoid interfering” with its patrols in the area.
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