No War Between China and the Philippines – Duterte

MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday said that he wishes to seat in front of the Chinese Ambassador or his representative to lay down the Philippines’ position regarding the West Philippine issue (South China Sea) as he reiterated his stand for peace.

President Duterte in his speech during the commemoration of the National Heroes Day at the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani” in Taguig said, “China, it’s not worthy, I don’t go to war.”

The President said he wants the talks with China to prosper and will not do acts that may affect it. The Philippines through former President Fidel Ramos, who leads the panel for the discussions with China, has met with Chinese officials recently to look into a future discussion between the two countries on the West Philippine Sea issue.

Earlier, the President said that the country would not open the topic on the South China Sea nor the arbitral decision so as not to affect the ongoing talks between the two nations.

“I’ll keep silent now, and the ambassador is there. But I will state my case before you. I will never bring the matter because it might lead only to the suspension of the talks with China,” Duterte said.

He had also earlier intimated his objection to outsiders meddling in the affairs of the country and the issue of the country with China is something personal to the two nations, the reason it should be discussed only with China.

The President said, “I propose that we just have a soft landing everywhere but for now, Mr. Ambassador, I want to just talk to you for a moment.”

With the Chinese Ambassador present during the National Heroes Day commemoration, President Duterte jokingly asked that China give the Philippines the time to build its force to cope with their superiority.

The West Philippine Sea, known for its vast marine resource, entices fishermen to go there to catch fishes for livelihood. PRRD also asked China to treat the Philippines like its brother and understand the plight of the poor Filipino fishermen. “That’s why they are there because they are poor.”

President Duterte emphasized “the Chinese people this time might find a place in their hearts for the Filipinos. After all, I come from— there’s a Chinese blood in me, so I hope that you treat us your brothers, not your enemies and take note of the plight of our citizens,” he said as he spoke before members of the diplomatic Corps during the event.