President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit China this August. By far, this will be his 5th time in the mainland and meet with President Xi Jinping. Although there is no mention of particular agenda, Salvador Panelo gave a hint as to what to expect in the visit.
The End of Speculations
The issue on the West Philippine Sea has been a debate for years. There were various allegations and wild guesses about the deal between Duterte and Xi Jinping regarding who is the valid and rightful possessor of the WPS. Will this year be the end of the speculations and allegations against China-PH deal?
Is This The Time?
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo quotes President Duterte regarding on the development of the expansive claim of Panatag Shoal.
“There will be a time that I will invoke the arbitral ruling. This is the time.”
Aside from the Hague ruling, Duterte will also bring forth the Recto Bank incident which happened last June 9. A sanction protest was filed after the incident incriminating the Chinese crew who abandoned the 22 Filipino fishermen until a Vietnamese fishing vessel came to the rescue.
In July 2016, the Philippines won the lawsuit against China on the dispute of South China Sea which the latter currently regards as their backyard. The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling disregards China’s historical claims validating their rights as posthe sessor of the SCS. The filing of the lawsuit took place during Aquino’s presidency.
The recollection of Chinese Coast Guard’s blocking and violation of Filipino fishermen’s right to fish along Excthe lusive economic zone is also brought in the issue. The particular incident happened in Scarborough Shoal.
Duterte has been long tight-lipped about the issues against China in regards to Panatag Shoal. In the past years, Duterte instead focuses on the close and tight-knit partnership with powerful Beijing.
Source: GMA News