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Duterte doesn’t want to discuss West PH Sea with Xi: Let islands float, ‘di mananakaw ‘yan

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President Rodrigo Duterte would rather talk about business with Chinese President Xi Jinping than bring up the West Philippine Sea maritime dispute.

Fresh from his trip to China and Hong Kong, Duterte admitted Friday (April 13) that he did not bring up the maritime dispute during his meeting with Xi.

“It is not the appropriate time to do it,” he told reporters upon his arrival at the Davao International Airport.

Duterte said he does not want to spoil the good relationship between the Philippines and China by discussing the international arbitral court’s ruling over the maritime row.

“Bakit ko– sisirain ko? They are now offering joint exploration and from thr mouth of the President of China, sabi niya, then exploration, maybe we can be extra generous,” he said.

Duterte said he is not willing to sacrifice the lives of Filipinos by going to war with China, noting that such an act will result in a “massacre.”

“I’d rather talk business. Let it float there, hindi naman manakaw ‘yan. Pero ang China is coming in, offering something,” he said.

Duterte recalled how China has been generous towards the Philippines, offering loans and military assistance during the 2017 Marawi siege.

“So why go… go around and pick a quarrel?” he asked.