Duterte Might Discuss South China Sea during China Visit

President Rodrigo Duterte, who is expected to attend a two-day forum in China this week, could raise the issue of Beijing’s encroachment in Philippine-claimed areas in the South China Sea during a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping, an official said Monday. This comes two weeks after Duterte warned China to stay away from areas controlled by Manila in the disputed sea region. He said he was prepared to send troops if necessary following an announcement by his government that Chinese ships had been spotted near Pag-asa island within the…

War over Scarborough ‘not worth it’ for the US, says Duterte

MANILA – The United States knew that a war “about something so small” like the Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea was “not worth it”, President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday, as he again conceded that the Philippines cannot rely on its long-standing Pacific ally to defend Manila’s interests in the vital sea lane. Scarborough, called by Filipinos as Panatag Shoal and by the Chinese as Huangyan Island, was the site of a 2012 standoff between the Philippines and China. The standoff erupted when Manila sent its biggest warship…

South China Sea: Philippines Duterte SUES China for harvesting clams near Thitu island | World | News

The government plans to take legal action against China for harvesting giant clams in Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, the Philippine Star reported. Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Twitter: “We just caught them doing that recently, filed a diplomatic note, and will be taking legal action. With our legal department now.” The action follows Chinese ships reportedly swarming Pag-asa island, also known as Thitu. Mr Duterte had previously warned Beijing to “lay off” the island or he will tell his soldiers to “prepare for suicide missions”. He…

Amid South China Sea tensions, Duterte urged to ‘unshelve’ arbitration win

Former foreign affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario (left) and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales want the President to “sit down with China” and discuss reinforcing the arbitral outcome. File/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News; King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo; Joseph Vidal, Malacañang Photo Bureau MANILA—The country’s former top diplomat and ombudsman consider the tension brewing in the South China Sea as the perfect time to finally “unshelve” Manila’s arbitration win.  The government, which has been favoring Beijing for some time, has recently denounced the presence of Chinese vessels in the Spratlys chain, while the…

Philippines’ President Duterte Tells China to “Lay Off” Thitu Island

Speaking at a rally in the city of Puerto Princesa on April 4, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to send his troops on a “suicide mission” if the Chinese do not “lay off” Thitu Island in the South China Sea. Thitu Island, which the Filipinos call Pag-Asa Island, is the second largest of the 18 Spratly Islands and the largest of the Philippine-administered islands. In additon to the Philippines, other islands in the group are occupied by Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. “I’m trying to tell China, Pag-Asa is ours,” Duterte…

Palace: No need for Duterte to ride jet ski to Spratlys; diplomatic protest is better

MANILA, Philippines — There is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to ride a jet ski to Scarborough or Spratlys to assert Philippine sovereignty in the disputed area, Malacañang said Wednesday. “It will only be a drama if he goes there. The more better action would be to file a diplomatic protest and then raise that as an issue in bilateral meetings between the two countries,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in Palace briefing. In April 2016, ahead of the May national elections, the President who was then a presidential candidate, said he…