Duterte will go to war with China: expanded construction in South China Sea fuels concerns
PHILIPPINES — “If we lost a single island, during Duterte’s time, I will pack my bags, go home, and I will not serve the public in any elected or appointed position.”
That’s Philippine chief diplomat Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday, challenging critics who have said that President Rodrigo Duterte has not done anything to defend the country’s claim in the hotly contested islands in the West Philippine Sea.
Cayetano says Duterte has even notified China of red lines it should not cross.
During a flag raising ceremony at the DFA grounds in the Philippines, Cayetano also said, that going to war is now an option for Duterte.
“Sinabi ng pangulo yun, if anyone gets our natural resources sa west Philippine sea, South China Sea, he will go to war, sabi niya bahala na, he will go to war.”
Duterte previously declared that the Philippines could not afford to go to war with China because he will not go to a war he can’t win.
Cayetano’s speech came just days after two US Navy warship sailed near the South China Sea in the paracels – as part of its regular freedom of navigation exercises.
New data also showed Chinese construction in the South China Sea is much bigger than previously known.
Data analysts believe this subi reef in the hotly disputed Spratly Islands now has nearly 400 buildings, and could soon be home to a large number of Chinese troops.
Meanwhile, mischief and fiery reefs each house almost 190 buildings and structures, according to analysis.
Malacanang spokesperson Harry Roque previously clarified the Philippine government’s position on the developments in the South China Sea.
These Duterte supporters would like to see the president take more concrete steps to keep the west Philippine sea properties away from China.