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Di naman bullying ‘yon! Cayetano downplays China’s war threat vs PH

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has tried to allay concerns over China’s reported warning to go to war against the Philippines by saying he does not believe it was a threat.

In a press conference Monday (May 22), Cayetano gave sparse details about the conversation between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping where the threat was supposedly made, except to say that what took place was a “very frank discussion.”

“I will not contradict the President’s words given that I cannot tell you much. The context was not threatening each other that we’ll go to war,” he said.

“My interpretation in the meeting is that there was no bullying or pushing around,” Cayetano added.

In a speech last week, Duterte disclosed Xi’s threat that China will go to war against the Philippines if the government approves any plan to drill oil in the Reed Bank in the disputed South China Sea.

Xi reportedly made the threat at the sidelines of the One Belt, One Road summit in Beijing, in which Cayetano said he was present.

Despite Xi’s grim warning, the country’s top diplomat said he believes respect still prevailed in the conversation between Duterte and Xi.

“The mutual respect could be felt and the admiration of President Duterte to President Xi and President Xi to President Duterte. In fact, they would not be able to speak that frank with each other if there was no trust being developed,” Cayetano said.