(From ABS-CBN News)
China must follow a United Nations-backed arbitration tribunal’s ruling on the Philippines’ petition to nullify its vast claims on the South China Sea, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte has said.
The arbitral tribunal is expected to hand out its ruling on the potential flash point region this year. China has built massive structures on reefs and outcrops to reinforce its claim while the United States has sent air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.
Duterte said China must abide by the decision even as his government sought to partner with the superpower for sorely-needed infrastructure projects.
“If there’s an arbitration, we expect China will follow,” the 71-year-old maverick mayor told reporters.
“Just because you’re building me the railway doesn’t mean I am abandoning Scarborough Shoal,” he said, referring to a Philippine-claimed outcrop that China has held since 2012, following a tense naval stand-off. Read More