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What would China say? Duterte wants sleepover with soldiers on Spratlys- Lorenzana

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President Rodrigo Duterte may have nixed his plan to plant a flag on one of the islands in the disputed Spratlys Group in the South China Sea, but he still wants to go there, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

In a visit to Pag-asa Island Friday (April 21), Lorenzana told reporters that Duterte wants to spend a night there with Filipino soldiers.

“Gusto niya magpunta rito. Gusto niya nga mag-overnight dito. Sabi niya sa ‘kin, ‘We sleep with our troops,'” he said.

Duterte earlier said he wants to fly to Pag-asa Island to plant the Philippine flag in a bid to assert sovereignty over the area. However, he canceled his plan a few days later, citing the country’s friendship with China.

Beijing has a sweeping claim over the South China Sea while several other Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, have overlapping claims.