Duterte dares U.S. to fight China over West Philippine Sea dispute

  • Page Views 296
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte challenged the United States to prepare its naval fleet to confront China amid Philippines’ territorial row with China in the West Philippine Sea, also known as South China Sea.

    Duterte made the dare on July 17, saying in an interview: “I’m calling now America. I’m invoking the RP-US pact.”

    “I would like America to gather all their Seventh Fleet in front of China. I’m asking them now. I will join them,” Duterte said.

    The Philippines and the U.S> have a 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT). The pact allows either parties to assist the other in the event of attacks on its metropolitan territory, island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific.

    The U.S. has affirmed that the scope of coverage includes the South China Sea. However, the U.S. has also declared that it does not take sides in territorial disputes there.

    It was the second time that Duterte has said that he is invoking the MDT.

    The Seventh Fleet, part of the US Pacific Fleet, is stationed in Japan.

    The Philippine president said he would join the US forces in challenging China.

    “I will ride on the boat where [the] admiral of the US [is]. But I will drag along this Carpio and the rest, Albert. When the Americans say, ‘We’re here now, ready,’ I will press it,” Duterte said.

    He was referring to Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, who have criticized his policy on the West Philippine Sea.

    Duterte, however, warned that a shooting war would devastate Palawan.

    “Maybe that would be the end of Palawan. Palawan may be devastated, maybe occupied or if there will be nuclear bombs, it will dry up. So nothing will grow here, we can just wait, just like a big hole coming our way, to suck us to eternity,” he said.

    Duterte’s statement came days after he told The Manila Times that he was ready to join the US should the country’s long-time ally declare war with China to stop its intrusion in the West Philippine Sea.

    Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez said the two countries were in talks to “strengthen” the decades-old treaty and that this might be taken up in a scheduled meeting in September.

    Washington’s top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, previously vowed that US would secure and defend the Philippines in case of an attack.

    Suggestions to invoke the MDT arose over the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel near the Recto Bank last June.

    Duterte had repeatedly said that the Philippines has no capability to go to war with China or enforce the ruling of a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal dismissing China’s claims in the disputed sea based on its nine-dash line policy.

    “I’ve been frank; I cannot win a war with China. Pero kung gustuhin nila (But if they want to), I’m putting China on advice, I’m awaiting word from the United States that if they’re willing to go to war to drive you, then I will do it,” Duterte said.

    The President earlier dared the U.S. to “fire the first shot” at the Chinese in the disputed waters.

    Since assuming the presidency, Duterte had sought to downplay Manila’s maritime dispute with Beijing in exchange for improved ties with the world’s second largest economy.

    Duterte’s invocation of the Philippines-U.S. accord came after officials from both nations wrapped up their two-day “strategic dialogue” on July 16, covering issues such as defence, security, development and global diplomatic engagement.

    “Both sides recognised the importance of a strong Philippines-US alliance in enhancing security cooperation and promoting regional stability and security,” a joint statement issued after the meeting said.

    “Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to uphold freedom of navigation, overflight and other lawful uses of the South China Sea, and stressed the importance of peacefully resolving disputes in accordance with international law, as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention,” it added.

    In the television interview, Duterte insisted that while Beijing had permission to fish in the areas claimed by Manila in the resource-rich waterway, the Philippines was still the “owner” of the West Philippine Sea – as it is known in the country.

    “As far as I’m concerned, I am the owner, and I’m just giving the fishing rights,” Duterte said.

    “We filed a case for arbitration actually, and we won,” said Duterte, adding that despite the ruling, China continued claiming rights over the territory.

    China recently acknowledged its fishing vessel hit a Philippine boat in the disputed South China Sea, in an incident that prompted an outcry in the Philippines.

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 20 August 2019
      21 hours ago No comment

      ‘Aqua Boy’ eyes excellence in 2019 Provincials

      Coquitlam native Angelo Macaraig is on a mission to fulfill his biggest catch of the year as he competes in the three-day Provincials Swim Meet slated August 15-18 in Kamloops, BC.  With his recent performances in the Regional Championship, the 14- year-old tanker is determined to reach the top, and compete as hard as he can versus the best swimmers in the biggest meet in British ...

    • 19 August 2019
      21 hours ago No comment

      Mayweather begins training for possible Pacquiao rematch 

      So, boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. has started visiting his gym to train. If this is not a strong signal that the 50-0 win owner and 42-year-old ring gladiator is ready to unretire and fight fellow ring great Manny Pacquiao again, fight pundits don’t know what is.  Maybe the Money Man, ...

    • 18 August 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      Caregivers expose rampant corruption and exploitation at local settlement service agency

      Vancouver — Instead of assisting caregivers and newcomers, a local immigrant settlement service agency was profiting from them, say caregivers and former staff at a press conference this morning. They allege that Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS)* Board Members used the agency and its resources to sell expensive and ...

    • 15 August 2019
      5 days ago No comment

      SSS Office opens in Vancouver

      A ribbon cutting ceremony opened The Social Security System or SSS Office in Vancouver to give services to its SSS members in Vancouver. Present for the opening and ribbon cutting were SSS President and CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio, with husband Crisologo Ignacio who were welcomed by Consul General Andrelita ...

    • 15 August 2019
      5 days ago No comment

      “Hello, Love, Goodbye” Filipino movie crosses 500 million pesos at the box office

      Actors celebrated the achievement online, creating a hashtag that then went viral Love and career are two of the important things that most people consider in making major decisions in their lives. Most generations were asked which they prioritize and often their answers vary—but what does the younger generation ...

    %d bloggers like this: