Locsin jokes: Rising sea levels will swallow China’s ‘illegal constructions’

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Wednesday recalled how the United Nations Security Council burst into a laugh when he made light of the Philippines’ longstanding maritime dispute with China.

“[The Philippines] is way ahead of whites on climate change although at the UN Security Council I said the Philippines is ambivalent about climate change raising sea levels; it may be the final solution to the repeated taking of our reefs by China because the sea will swallow their illegal constructions,” Locsin wrote on Twitter.

“For the first time in a long time, the Security Council laughed. I just had to lighten up the moment,” the country’s top diplomat said in another tweet.

China has been pushing for its expansive claims in the South China Sea, refusing to recognize the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that invalidated its ambitious nine-dash line feature which claims virtually the entire body of water.

Meanwhile, President Duterte has chosen to shelve the PCA ruling in exchange for Chinese economic perks to help fund his administration’s infrastructure projects.

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