Duterte won’t ‘barter’ ter­ri­tory to China

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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