^

Headlines

Amid China’s build, build, build, Rody non-combative

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star
Amid Chinaâs build, build, build, Rody non-combative

Faced with China’s version of “build, build, build” in the South China Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte is keeping his “non-combative” stance in dealing with Beijing, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said yesterday. PPD/Robinson Niñal, File

MANILA, Philippines -  Faced with China’s version of “build, build, build” in the South China Sea, President Duterte is keeping his “non-combative” stance in dealing with Beijing, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said yesterday.

“We need to reiterate the fact that the President has said – his approach to the situation, to regional geopolitics has always been to come into a mutual understanding and dialogue in order to resolve cases like these,” Abella said during the “Mindanao Hour” program held in Davao City.

While the government would rather leave the matter to the Department of National Defense and Department of Foreign Affairs, Abella stressed that Duterte has made his position clear on the issue – to be “non-adversarial” and opt for “peaceful dialogue.”

“We need to just go back to the fact that the President at this stage has been non-combative and non-adversarial, but has approached regional geopolitics from the point of view of dialogue and mutual understanding and mutual support,” Abella said.

He was reacting to a report of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative – part of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies – that new missile shelters and radar and communication facilities were being built on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross), Panganiban (Mischief) and Zamora (Subi) reefs in the Spratlys.

The report said the ongoing installation of a very large antenna array on Panganiban should be of concern to the Philippines due to its proximity to an area claimed by Manila.

The facility would certainly boost Beijing’s ability to monitor the surroundings, the report said.

Duterte began cozying up to China right after assuming the presidency last year, purportedly as part of his pivot to China and “separation” from the US, which has been critical of his bloody war on drugs.

He also described his warming of relations with Beijing as a step toward an independent foreign policy.

On Wednesday, Duterte witnessed the turnover by Beijing of a military package worth about P500 million delivered by cargo aircraft at Clark Freeport.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua also donated P5 million in assistance for families of soldiers killed or injured in the government’s fight against the Maute group in Marawi City. Beijing also donated P15 million to help in the rebuilding of the war-torn city.

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with