Tags: rodrigo duterte | south china sea

Duterte Stirs Up South China Sea While Trump Is Meeting With Xi

Duterte Stirs Up South China Sea While Trump Is Meeting With Xi

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 07 April 2017 11:08 AM

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sent his military to parts of the South China Sea involved in past territorial disputes with China while President Donald Trump was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the U.S.

On Thursday, Duterte deployed soldiers to deserted islands and shoals of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines, according to The New York Times.

The Philippines president also said he planned to visit one of the islands to raise the national flag, Reuters reported.

“The unoccupied, which are ours, let’s live on it,” Duterte said during a visit to a military base in Palawan.

“It looks like everyone is making a grab for the islands there. So we better live on those that are still unoccupied. What’s ours now, we claim it and make a strong point from there,” he added.

The previous discord with China appeared to be moving toward a solution after Duterte met with Xi last October, said the Times.

“China has improved relations with Duterte immediately, and set up a way to settle the South China Sea disputes peacefully,” said Yan Xuetong, an international relations professor at Tsinghua University, at the time. “Generally speaking, this problem in the South China Sea is over, and the United States cannot do anything now.”

Duterte’s remarks about the unoccupied areas came ahead of Trump’s first meeting with Xi in Florida on Thursday. The two meet again on Friday to continue their discussion on a series of issues, with territory in the South China Sea being one of the top issues of discussion.

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TheWire
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sent his military to parts of the South China Sea involved in past territorial disputes with China while President Donald Trump was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the U.S.
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2017-08-07
Friday, 07 April 2017 11:08 AM
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