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Duterte willing to give Chinese bigger stake in West PH Sea just to avoid war

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POLITIKO - The bible of Philippine Politics

President Rodrigo Duterte is avoiding going to war with China at all cost, including giving them a bigger share of profits from joint extraction of oil and gas reserves in the disputed territories inside the West Philippine Sea.

Duterte reiterated that the Philippines has no chance against the vastly superior military strength of his BFF Xi Jinping.

““Well, you know they have the planes, not stationed in Spratly but near the provinces facing… Chinese provinces facing the Spratly and the China Sea. And with their hypersonic (planes), they can reach Manila within 7 to 10 minutes,” said Duterte in a speech in Cebu.

“You know, based on how few we are — I couldn’t even buy myself a rifle. It was given to me. So how will we even fight with the Chinese?” said Duterte referring to the thousands of rifles and ammunition donated by the Chine to help Duterte retake Marawi City from terrorists.

Duterte stressed that he was not giving up the Philippines claim to the disputed islands inside the West Philippine Sea. But he was just being honest and realistic.

“You know, that’s my lamentation. We are in the West Philippine Sea but we have a problem…We are caught in a limbo. We don’t have the assurance that America will remain by our side if a war breaks out. If we will go to a full-blown war, where would Philippines end up in?” said Duterte.

“So will we be able to win that war? If my troops will be massacred, after the war, the soldiers and police will come after me next. Our troops will really be finished off there,” he added.

Duterte solution to stave off a war with China was to agree to a joint exploration of the oil and gas rich reserves of the Recto Bank and give the Chinese a bigger share of the profits.

“We don’t have to fight. We can divide this in a joint development, joint exploration. And then we’ll give you a bigger share rather than fight,” said Duterte.

Previously, Duterte said he would only agree to a joint venture with China if the Philippines would get no less than two-thirds of the profits.

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