Manila — On Monday, a Philippines’ foreign minister announced his country had filed an official complaint against China — a move, as Anti-Mediareported, that actually demonstrates a strengthening diplomatic bond between the two countries rather than a weakening one. On Tuesday, the Filipino defense minister took a harder line on the issue of China’s installation of military hardware on artificial islands in the South China Sea.
“The actions of China militarizing those disputed features are very troubling,” Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement. “They do not square with the Chinese government’s rhetoric that its purpose is peaceful and friendly.”
On Monday, Filipino Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay toldCNN Philippines that “when we take action in engaging China in this dispute, we do not want to take such aggressive, proactive action that will not solve the problem.” Yasay said the filing of the official complaint, as the diplomatic process dictates, was to ensure “the interests and rights of the Philippines are properly protected.” Continue reading »
President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants an ongoing US-Philippine amphibious beach landing drill to be the last in his six-year presidency, with plans to halt all the 28 military exercises carried out with US forces every year.
“This year would be the last,” Duterte pledged on Friday in Davao in the southern Philippines, AP reported.
“For as long as I am there, do not treat us like a doormat because you’ll be sorry for it,” he added. “I will not speak with you. I can always go to China.” Continue reading »