10 Apr '17, 7am

President Rodrigo Duterte says will reinforce, not militarise, Philippines…

MANILA (REUTERS) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday (April 10) his order to the military to reinforce areas in the South China Sea controlled by Manila was to maintain the geopolitical balance, and assured China no“offensive weapons” would be placed there. Duterte said the Philippines wanted peace and friendship with China but his country needed to bolster what territory it had in the Spratly archipelago because “everybody’s grabbing”islands and reefs in the disputed waterway. The maverick former mayor set off alarm bells on Thursday, including in Beijing, when he said he had ordered troops to occupy uninhabited islets and shoals that the Philippines claims in the Spratly Islands. Philippine defence and military officials later said plans were to upgrade existing facilities and not occupy new territories. “I’d like to address myself to the Chinese govern...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/duterte-says-wil...

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