Philippines President Says China Threatened War Over Territory Dispute

China largely ignored the ruling, which explains Cayetano's doubt that any controlling legal authority to enforce anything stricter than a gentleman's agreement could be found.

"We should enlist Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to force a discussion with China", Gordon said, amid recent remarks by the Chinese leader to Duterte about China's readiness to go to war.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that "it is very inappropriate" that the joint statement made by Japan and New Zealand this week involves the South China Sea. "I think Duterte sees China as an indispensable partner for national development".

Before that happens, China and the ASEAN countries said they will continue following a separate document called the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, or DOC, which among other provisions, commits the parties to "exploring ways for building trust and confidence. on the basis of equality and mutual respect".

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has visited Beijing twice in less than a year and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

President Donald Trump has eased up on Beijing over the South China Sea - a decision that may be linked to efforts to enlist China's help in reining in North Korea. Headquarters missiles were also noted on Woody Island in the South China Sea, which Taiwan and Vietnam claim ownership. China appears to have installed the systems in order to protect the island from Vietnamese combat divers. ASEAN has always been divided over the issue of the South China Sea, with some of the non-claimant states in particular (with the notable exception of Indonesia and Singapore) having expressed reservations about pushing back too hard against Beijing on the issue.

"China is not giving any timeline to establish the CoC at this point in time", said an Asean official.




In July past year, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China and in favor of the Philippines in an arbitration case.

"We intend to drill oil there, if it's yours, well, that's your view, but my view is, I can drill the oil, if there is some inside the bowels of the earth because it is ours", Duterte said in a speech, recalling his conversation with Xi.

President Duterte on Monday, May 15, reassured Chinese President Xi Jinping that the Philippines would seek a peaceful resolution of its territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

Beijing's reaction came a day after the two countries began their week-long Simbex-17 naval exercise - which will focus on anti-submarine warfare - in the South China Sea, where China is locked in disputes over the ownership of islands and reefs with neighbours such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.

Carpio pointed out China's blatant threat of war against the Philippines demands that the Philippines strengthens its defenses and alliances.

Bolivar said there has been positive momentum in the last few days including the finalization of the draft framework of the Code of Conduct and the start of the Philippines-China bilateral consultation meeting.

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