No war policy VS. China – Duterte
President of the Philippines (POTP) Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that he wishes to seat in front of the Chinese Ambassador or his representative in order to lay down the Philippines’ position regarding the West Philippine Sea row and reiterated his stand for peace.
Duterte 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 POTP said he will not do acts that may affect talks with China.
Earlier, ex-president Fidel Ramos acting as head of the government panel for the talks, met with Chineses official in exploring future discussion.
Duterte can’t help commenting and thinking aloud about the Philippine’s predicament even if he had said times before he will not mention the thorny issue on the West Philippine sea or the decision by the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague.
The President had a moment throwing a joke that China give the Philippines the time to build its force to cope with their superiority as the Chinese ambasador listens during the Natonal Heroes celebration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Then Duterte said that the Chinese people this time might find a place in their hearts for the Filipinos. He claimed there’s a Chinese blood in him, so he hoped Filipinos get the treatment as their (Chinese) brothers, not enemies.
For the meantime, the POTP was asking China to let the (Zambales) fishermen continue plying their routes in the verified rich fishing territory and understand their poor plight.
The West Philippine Sea, which is commonly known as the South China Sea, has become a bone of contention between China and some of its neighboring southeast Asian countries.
The Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, during the chance interview after the occasion said that they could not just throw the strong ties of both countries gained after thousand years of trade, partnership and friendship.
“We have been friends and partners and even relatives for over thousand years,” he told reporters in a chance interview after the ceremony.
Zhao almost assured that despite the troubles between the two countries, his government is confident that friendship will further be deepened and the cooperation will further be enhanced.
Only to put an immediate stumbling block despite the interesting response with the backtracking comment that his country will not and can not honor the decision handed down by the Hague court.
Zhao then expanded that “.. right now, we need to change our focus. We need to change our focus from differences to common interests so that we can concentrate on cooperation that will benefit our two people,” Zhao explained.
He then left a positive note they do believed under the Duterte administration, problems of the two countries in the West Philippine Sea can be resolved using the formula of bilateral talks. (from reports by PNA and Sammy Martin)
Video: President Rodrigo Duterte speech during the commemoration of the National Heros Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig city: