Duterte Threatens “China-Philippines War” Over South China Sea Conflict

Why have Philippines-China Relations deteriorated so much that Manila has threatened a war with China? The Foreign Secretary of the Philipines has warned that Philippines-China War is possible over natural resources in the South China Sea if Beijing continues to cross the “red line”.

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The Foreign Secretary of Philippines – Alan Peter Cayetano said that Manila has warned China about the construction activities at a disputed reef and the extraction of oil and gas in the South China Sea.

“Nobody can extract natural resources from the South China Sea by unilateral actions and if If any country decides to illegally extract the natural resources form the South China Sea, then Manila will declare war on them.”

Experts have criticized President Duterte for not adopting aggressive measures over illegal Chinese actions, including the deployment of missile defence systems on the newly developed islands in the South-China Sea.

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Foreign Secretary Cayetano said the Philippines-China relations can only improve when prickly territorial disputes are mutually addressed and resolved. On the other hand, China has advised the Philippines that there should be no new occupation of desolate islands under the 2002 agreement, said Cayetano.

After taking power nearly two years ago, President Duterte started drifting away from their key ally – the United States in favour of China. Duterte took this initiative to warm the frosty Philipines-China relations after Beijing assured Manila to participate in the development of the nation and providing vast funds for trade and investment. Critics argue that Duterte’s soft approach towards Beijing has emboldened China, which has been increasingly aggressive in the South-China Sea.

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