Beijing should 'temper' its behavior in the South China Sea, Duterte says

Lester Mason
August 17, 2018

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte makes a speech during the Philippines - China Trade and Investment Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016.

However, instead of blaming China for building and militarising islands in disputed waters, he has said the United States was at fault for not blocking the construction when it started.

All countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are biased towards China, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday (August 14). The president added: "That is wrong because those waters are what we consider worldwide sea". "You can not create an island, it's man-made, and you say that the air above these artificial islands is yours".

Last Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said 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". "Those waters are considered worldwide sea and the right of innocent passage is guaranteed", Duterte said during an event at the presidential palace in Manila as quoted by local media.

Philippine officials have claimed military pilots are repeatedly warned off by Beijing as their planes approach Philippine-held Thitu island, which lies beside a Chinese air base built on top of Subi Reef. I do not want to quarrel with China. "It's man-made and you say that the air above this artificial island is yours". "And the right of innocent passage is guaranteed", he said.

Although the USA lays no claims to the strategic waterway, its Navy has deployed ships and aircraft in operations to promote freedom of navigation and overflight, but which China protests as foreign meddling in an Asian dispute.

Despite this, it has denied militarizing the area, through which about one-third of all global maritime trade passes.

An worldwide maritime tribunal ruled early in Duterte's presidency in 2016 that China's claims to the area have no legal basis.

"Our ships and aircraft have observed an increase in radio queries that appear to originate from new land-based facilities in the South China Sea", Commander Clay Doss, public affairs officer of the USA 7th Fleet, told the AP by email in response to questions about the Chinese messages.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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