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Philippines' Duterte says he won't withdraw ships from contested waters

May 15, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 49.8%. 1 min read.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has rebuffed a call from China to withdraw vessels from disputed areas of the South China Sea and said he would not bow to pressure, even if it jeopardizes his friendship with Beijing.

(CNN)Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has rebuffed a call from China to withdraw vessels from disputed areas of the South China Sea and said he would not bow to pressure, even if it jeopardizes his friendship with Beijing.

Duterte's remarks in a televised address aired on Friday come as pressure builds on him to abandon his pursuit of close ties with China and stand up to what his defense chiefs say are blatant provocations.

we will not move an inch backward," Duterte said.

Last month, China said the Philippines must "stop actions complicating the situation and escalating disputes" in response to a rare maritime exercise conducted by the Philippines.

But we will not go to war," Duterte said.

Duterte has been criticized for refusing to press China to abide by a 2016 arbitration ruling on the South China Sea that went in Philippines' favor.

by summa-bot

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