Philippines: US dared: Help Philippines stop China

  • Reiterating the country’s helplessness in stopping Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea, President Duterte on 26 Jun 19 dared the United States and its allies Britain and France to help the Philippines tackle Beijing.
  • Duterte reiterated that the Philippines could not stop China from its activities in disputed waters and could not enforce a fishing ban within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
  • He said the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat near Recto Bank was not intentional and it had been sideswiped by a Chinese ship. If it had been deliberately rammed, he said the fishing boat should have been hit from below.
  • Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo urged the public to trust Duterte’s moves in the West Philippine Sea, claiming that all actions of the President are in line with the Constitution and are intended to protect the interest of Filipinos.
  • Panelo reiterated that the President – criticized for allegedly being too soft on the South China Sea row – would not allow anyone to violate the country’s sovereignty.
  • Earlier, Duterte said nobody can stop China from fishing in the Philippines’ EEZ because of its friendship with the Philippines.
  • Panelo said issues related to the South China Sea row can be discussed through the bilateral consultation mechanism between the Philippines and China.
  • The basis of the Philippines’ external relations with other countries is friendship but the country remains firm on various issues including the South China Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on 26 Jun 19.

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