Duterte won’t ‘barter’ territory to China
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte vowed he will not “barter” away territory and economic rights ahead of a visit to Beijing, where he hopes to mend ties frayed by a row over the South China Sea.
Mr Duterte heads to Beijing today – after a state visit to Brunei – and will be bringing along a large business delegation hoping to secure Chinese investment as relations sour between Manila and its traditional ally the United States.
Mr Duterte said he would raise with Chinese President Xi Jinping a ruling by an international tribunal that outlawed Beijing’s claim to most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the Philippine coast.
China, which rejected the ruling, claims nearly all of the strategically vital waters and has built bases on artificial islands.
Mr Duterte said he agreed with senior Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio that the president could be impeached and removed from office if he gave away Scarborough Shoal, a fishing ground within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone that China seized in 2012. –