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Hilbay says China wouldn’t risk war over South China Sea: That’s $45-T worth of trade at stake

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Former Solicitor General Florin HIlbay on Thursday (July 12) assured China doesn’t want war with the Philippines over the disputed West Philippine Sea.

Hilbay gave his word on the occasion of the landmark Philippine victory two years ago before the Permanent Court of Arbitration which recognized the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea against China.

“Even China doesn’t have an interest in destabilizing the South China Sea,” he said during his interview over CNN Philippines.

“That’s $5 trillion worth of trade and any war in that area would affect China first and foremost,” he explained.

Because of this, Hilbay told Filipinos not to easily accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning that the territorial dispute could lead to war.

“Only the president is trying to impose fear on the citizens which is his way actually to justify the pro-China policy of his government,” he said.

When he was still solicitor general, Hilbay was part of the team sent to the international tribunal and secured the win against China.