icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
21 Jun, 2019 16:52

Duterte warns China of ocean grabbing free-for-all amid South China Sea dispute

Duterte warns China of ocean grabbing free-for-all amid South China Sea dispute

Ahead of this weekend’s Asean summit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned China that it should be wary over claiming contested waters for fear it would inspire others, including the US.

Speaking to media in Manilla on Friday, Duterte said he planned to talk “lengthily” about the issue of disputed waters in the South China Sea during the summit which will see southeast Asian economies descend on the Thai capital of Bangkok. However, before leaving, he said China should be careful about claiming entire bodies of water.

“My question to China, we’re friends, but… is it correct for China to declare ownership of an ocean?” Duterte asked. He said that if this was the case, Manilla would happily do the same to other nearby seas and there was nothing to stop others from doing so.

Now I’m thinking of claiming the Sulu Sea as ours and you can’t pass by there without permission from me.

“That is the danger,” Duterte added, noting that the US could claim half the Pacific Ocean and other nations could equally claim various waters for their own.

Meanwhile, China has criticized the US for acting “provocatively” in the South China Sea, while Beijing is forced to defend its claims more assertively.

Also on rt.com ‘F*ck the international community, it can be bought’: Filipino FM on South China Sea incident

The South China Sea is a strategically important shipping lane in the Pacific Ocean through which an estimated $3.37 trillion worth of trade passes each year. China asserts control over most of the sea, however, neighboring countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore all contest various overlapping claims.

This has led to tensions steadily rising in recent months. In June, a Chinese vessel reportedly rammed a Filipino fishing boat leaving 22 crew members to be rescued by other Filipino fishermen. A Philippines military official likened the incident to a “hit and run.”

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!