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Duterte says he’s going to China to discuss maritime dispute

Duterte says he’s going to China to discuss maritime dispute
VIRGIL LOPEZ August 6, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday confirmed he is going to China to raise the issue on the maritime row in the South China Sea.

Duterte is set to fly to China later this month for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It will be his fifth trip to China since assuming the presidency in 2016.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said earlier in the day that Duterte will raise the Philippines’ landmark victory against Beijing over the South China Sea disputes.

In his speech before the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. in Malacañang, Duterte underscored the need to tackle the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated China’s expansive claim to the strategic waterway.

“Yung arbitral ruling pag-usapan natin ‘yan. That’s why I’m going to China. I’m not going to tell you the agenda. I’m going to China to talk,” he said.

“Did I not tell you before my term ends we will be talking about China Sea. Sinabi ko sa inyo ‘yan I’m going there because there are now some sparkles na which needs to be addressed immediately. Ayaw ko ng away.”

Duterte has taken steps to mend ties with China in order to tap the Asian powerhouse's deep pockets for much needed investment in infrastructure and cement trade deals.

He also refused to provoke China into war over the West Philippine Sea, a portion of the South China Sea being claimed by Manila, arguing it will only result in a massacre of Filipino troops.

Apart from a meeting with Xi, Duterte said he would also watch the FIBA World Cup, with the Philippines as one of the participants, and inaugurate a school in Fujian province that was built in honor of his mother, Soledad.

Duterte’s mother was a teacher and a civic leader. — MDM, GMA News