Philippine President: East Sea issue to be raised if minerals tapped

TTXVN-VNA | 30-12-2016 | 18:52

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: AP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on December 29 that he will raise the issue of the Philippines’ legal victory in the East Sea with China during his term, especially when resources in the waters are tapped.


Asked what specific circumstances will prompt him to bring up the arbitral award with China, Duterte replied, "When the minerals are already being siphoned out."


Duterte, who chose to forge friendlier relations with China when he started his six-year term in June by temporarily setting aside the territorial issue in exchange for robust economic ties, made the comments in an interview on CNN Philippines.


Amid international criticism over China's aggressive territorial claims in the East Sea over the last few years, the Philippine government, under then President Benigno Aquino, filed an arbitration case against China in January 2013 at the Permanent Court of Arbitration.


The UN-backed court ruled in July that China's claim over almost the entire East Sea has no legal basis./.