Published: Fri, August 17, 2018

Philippines’ Duterte slams China over island-building

Philippines’ Duterte slams China over island-building

China has alarmed and angered its neighbours by claiming dominion over most of the South China Sea and building a string of artificial islands and military airbases.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the Chinese government to tone down its behavior in the South China Sea, warning ongoing tensions could spark an accidental conflict.

"They have to rethink that because that would be a flashpoint someday", Duterte said in a speech late yesterday.

"You can not create an island".

Philippine officials have said that military pilots are repeatedly warned off by Beijing as their planes approach Philippine-held Thitu Island (Jhongye Island, 中業島), which lies beside a Chinese air base built on top of Subi Reef (Jhubi Reef, 渚碧礁).

However, the USA navy has forcefully asserted its right to freedom of navigation in the area, repeatedly sailing close to the man-made islands and drawing Chinese protests.

He said that it was "wrong" that China claims these disputed waters as its territories since they are "considered a part of global sea" and "the right of innocent passage is guaranteed", according to the official transcript of a speech provided on Wednesday. It does not need any permission to sail through the open seas.

"So I hope that China would temper its -- at least its behavior". I do not want to quarrel with China.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague concluded in 2016 that Beijing's claims to areas of the resource-rich sea have no legal basis in an arbitration launched by the Philippines, whose "sovereign rights" it said China had violated. America instead of avoiding - "get out, get out", China would say "we go in, we go in", he added.

The incident came even as the Duterte administration sought to downplay Manila's maritime dispute with China.

Duterte had even temporarily shelved a 2016 arbitral tribunal's ruling that nullified China's nine-dash line map that covers almost whole of South China in favor of friendly relations.

An worldwide maritime tribunal ruled early in Duterte's presidency in 2016 that China's claims to the area have no legal basis.

They are all pro-China because China does not really... "But one of these days I said before my term ends, I assure you that I will talk to them", Duterte said.

Like this: