Rody to ask China: Do you want control of South China Sea?

Ivan Schwartz
November 12, 2017

Duterte also said that the Philippines and China are "friends", however, he said China's plans should be clear as these could affect the country and the entire region.

The President said it is about time to make Xi aware that Asean member-states are anxious about China's deployment of military weapons to its occupied islands in the contested waters, as shown in photographs.

Yet, Duterte believed that the issue should be raised in bilateral meetings at a regional assembly. "So it puts (us) in a wary - anxious and wary - because we are also using the passage", Duterte said. But what is the rule here (is) for everybody that's applicable to us, that is also applicable for Asean because I am the chair of the Asean. I don't have to parry.

China's claims to most of the South China Sea overlap those of the Philippines and four other governments. "I have to tell the truth that everybody is anxious", he added.

China-Philippines relations have often been frosty over maritime disputes, but ties have warmed under Duterte, who prefers to not provoke Beijing and wants to tap it for loans and investment. China was there when we needed most of their help.

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In a report, released jointly by the Senate and House armed services, the lawmakers noted that the consistent exercise of freedom of navigation operations and overflights by United States naval and air forces throughout the world plays a critical role in safeguarding the freedom of the seas, supporting worldwide law, and ensuring the continued safe passage and promotion of global commerce and trade. "So you just read it and you'd know that you are not crossing boundaries because as of now, it is a contested claim", Duterte told reporters on Thursday night, November 9, in Da Nang, Vietnam.

The President said China must cooperate with Asean countries in coming up with a code of conduct governing the use of the seas to resolve the maritime disputes. "The Philippines did not violate the Declaration of Conduct", Alejano said.

He said he will tell Mr Xi when he meets him on Saturday (Nov 11) that "the whole of Asean is anxious about how we should behave in the seas that are now militarised, afraid that there might be a mistake and there would be shooting". "In short, Sandy Cay is a Philippine land territory that is being seized, to put it mildly, or being invaded, to put it frankly, by China", Carpio said.

According to the defense chief, the sandbar is located about 2.5 nautical miles from Thitu, an island known locally as Pagasa, which forms part of the island chain where China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

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