Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not raise long-simmering maritime disputes with China at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations in Laos next month, preferring to talk quietly with Chinese officials.
“I will only bring the issue when we are together face to face,” he told reporters late Wednesday night. “Because if you quarrel with them now and you claim sovereignty, make noise here and there, they might not just even want to talk.”
In July, a Hague-based arbitration tribunal ruled heavily in the Philippines‘ favor in a case challenging China’s claims and aggressive actions in the South China Sea. China ignored the decision and continued to block Filipino fishermen from a disputed shoal and build new islands.
The arbitration case was filed by Duterte’s predecessor. Duterte has been lukewarm in his support for the action and has said he was adopting “a softer approach” to resolving the disputes. Read More