Pres. Duterte calls out China to temper its behavior in the disputed waters of the WPS

Pres. Duterte calls out China to temper its behavior in the disputed waters of the WPS

The President has called out  China to “temper” its behavior in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) following the  news that China has warned a Philippine military aircraft while doing routinary fly by over the man-made islands in the area.

The President said that China should ‘rethink’ its practice of giving warning to other countries from flying the airspace above the man-made islands built in the WPS.
One of the man made islands turned military base by China in Fiery cross reef (photo credit to owner)


“Well, they have to rethink that because that would be a flashpoint someday. And even you know, warning others. You cannot create an island. It’s man-made and you say that the air above this artificial island is yours,” Duterte said.

Earlier this week Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has told mediamen that an investigation will be conducted if the Chinese military has repeatedly ordered the Philippine military aircraft to “leave immediately or you will bear responsibility for all the consequences”.

A BBC video became has been plying the internet where an American military aircraft was also given warning by the Chinese while it was conducting flights over the disputed area.

“That is wrong because those waters are -- what would consider international sea and the right of innocent passage is guaranteed. It does not need any permission to sail through the open seas. And if it's nearby a territorial water, you guarantee what you would call the right of innocent passage,” Duterte told his audience, among them is US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim.

“So I hope that China would temper its --- at least its behavior. I do not want to quarrel with China. But at this time, because you will create… America instead of avoiding -- "get out, get out," China would say “we go in, we go in,” he added.

The Duterte administration has given the Philippines-China relations a big boost since both countries have made bold steps to make giant strides in economic and trade between both countries, and has been constant in trying to settle the dispute in a peaceful manner.

Duterte shelved the arbitral tribunal’s ruling in favor of a robust economic ties, however the President made sure he would raise the  Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)ruling  before his 6 year term ends in 2022 despite China’s refusal to take recognition of the ruling.

“So it's very clear that the gambit really is the China Sea. But one of these days I said before my term ends, I assure you that I will talk to them,” Duterte said.


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