Duterte Plans to Raise South Sea China Ruling in Meeting With Xi

In this Oct. 20, 2016 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shows the way to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

By Andreo Calonzo

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to discuss the Philippines’ 2016 international tribunal victory over China when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping this month.

“The President has always said that there will be a time to raise this issue. The time has come,” Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a televised briefing Tuesday.

Duterte will also discuss with Xi an oil exploration plan in the disputed sea, where the Philippines is seeking a 60-40 revenue sharing. The president also supports the move to tighten visa rules on Chinese nationals arriving in the Southeast Asian nation, Panelo said.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled on a case filed by Manila against Beijing, saying China’s historical claims over the South China Sea have no legal basis.

Since then, Duterte has built warmer ties with Beijing, while China continues building artificial islands on disputed waters. The Philippine leader is now ready to assert the ruling as he nears the end of his term in 2022, Panelo said.


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