Ex-president Duterte disagrees with China’s 10-dash line
MANILA, Philippines — While maintaining close ties with Chinese president Xi Jinping, former president Rodrigo Duterte does not agree with Beijing’s new 10-dash line.
The 10-dash line map includes the eastern section of self-ruled Taiwan, parts of India and Malaysia, as well as parts of the country’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.
“China is a friend, personally I am [friends] with President Xi Jinping, but I would state now that I do not agree with the 10-dash line,” Duterte, who visited the Chinese leader last July, said in an SMNI program on Monday.
“As far as I’m concerned, our territory is non-negotiable … friendship is one, alliance is another one, but the territory itself must be ours,” the former chief executive said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as the governments of India, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia rejected China’s new demarcation which was revealed on August 28.
China puts one new dash in the eastern section of the self-ruled island which Beijing deems a renegade province subject to reunification, while the entire Spratly Islands, including the entire Kalayaan Island Group, is also inside this maritime boundary.
More than 400 civilian locals live in Pag-asa Island, which serves as the seat of the Municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan province.
“I am not ready to give up a part of the territory of my country,” Duterte said. “We’ll defend it to death if need be. Atin ‘yan eh (That is ours).”
In 2016 during the early days of his administration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) said that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.
Duterte, in 2021, called the PCA’s award a mere “piece of paper.”