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4月28日のまにら新聞から

Duterte tells Vietnamese PM: Philippines not abandoning arbitral ruling in South China Sea

[ 356 words|2018.4.28|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte has made it clear to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc that he is not abandoning the arbitration ruling in the disputed South China Sea.

The two leaders discussed the matter during their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Singapore.

"It was definitely discussed and I guess the president just wanted it very clear that we are not abandoning, we are not ignoring. Ee are not setting aside the arbitral tribunal decision which is in our favor and that he will deal with that arbitral award in due course. Not now, but at the right time," he said.

Both the Philippines and Vietnam are among the Southeast Asian countries, which are laying claims in the South China Sea. The other two ASEAN countries are Malaysia and Brunei.

China has been claiming almost the entire South China Sea.

A few weeks before Duterte assumed office, the arbitral tribunal came out with the ruling following a petition of the Aquino government questioning the legality of China's nine-dash line in South China Sea.

But instead of using the ruling to pursue the Philippine claim in the disputed waters, Duterte decided to put it in the back burner and follow a softer stance towards China.

He said during the bilateral meeting, the Vietnamese leader hailed Duterte's position towards China.

Roque said it was Phuc who brought up the issue on the South China Sea when he was asking the Philippine support for the extended continental shelf with Malaysia.

He also said Phuc reiterated Vietnam's readiness to supply affordable and quality rice to the Philippines.

On Thursday, before he left for Singapore, Duterte said in his speech at the 102nd Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Mason in the Philippines that he will "set sail" for Benham Rise.

"Next week, I'm going to set sail on, I'm going to Benham Rise and I will make a statement there that nobody but nobody owns this place (but the Philippines, including continental shelf, the underground landmass that extends under the sea," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS