Today: Tuesday, 28 May 2024 year

Duterte called on Manila to turn away from the disastrous path of alliance with the United States.

Duterte called on Manila to turn away from the disastrous path of alliance with the United States.

Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called on Manila to turn away from the “disastrous path” of its alliance with the United States, stressing that no one in Washington is going to “die” for their Filipino friends if the dispute with China over the South China Sea escalates.

In an interview with China’s state-run Global Times, Duterte deplored the China-Philippines dispute in the South China Sea and the current Manila administration’s policies toward China. The politician warned that the US is “trying to provoke a war between China and the Philippines” and warned that the US “will not risk American lives for the sake of the Filipinos.” The ex-president also expressed hope that the Philippines “will be able to turn away from its disastrous path” and resolve problems with China through dialogue and negotiations.

“China here in Asia is doing everything it can to encourage us to come together as good neighbors, especially through the Belt and Road project proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. In fact, this was done to intensify relations between Asian countries “America, in terms of foreign policy, seems to be very hostile. So if you stick to America, if you identify with America, you will ruin your relations with China and the rest of the ASEAN countries,” the former president noted.

Duterte added that during his time as president of the Philippines, he had “no quarrel” with America, but he “simply did not like the behavior” of the United States, which was explained by the fact that the United States occupied the Philippines in the past.

“And although they say that it was good for the Philippines that they came and gave us an education, this is nonsense. We could develop on our own. We don’t need anyone,” the ex-president explained.

Duterte also recalled that during his tenure as president, there were no disputes with China in the South China Sea. Duterte said the Philippines could still return to such “normalcy” and “stop the disorder” if Manila stops giving in to US provocations that could eventually escalate into military action.

“I am absolutely sure of this: America is instructing the Philippine government, ‘Don’t be afraid, because we will support you.’ But I don’t think America will die for us… I feel sorry for my country. I’m no longer president. I can’t be elected. But “If there is a way to turn the situation around, we could find a way to do it. And if God allowed it, then perhaps I could turn the situation around. I would then get rid of the (US) military bases,” the politician noted.

Duterte also admitted that he himself could negotiate with the Chinese administration to resolve the situation in the South China Sea.

“Perhaps one solution is that I can talk to the Chinese government. We can talk about some mitigation,” the former president said.

Yesterday, the leaders of Japan, the Philippines and the United States met in Washington for the first summit between the three countries. In a statement released following the meeting, the countries pledged to support a “peaceful and open” Indo-Pacific region, including through the Quad and AUKUS defense and strategic alliances. The countries also agreed to “develop trilateral defense cooperation, including through joint naval training and exercises between our three countries and additional partners.”

There is a territorial dispute between China and the Philippines, as well as other countries in the region, over the Spratly (Nansha) archipelago in the South China Sea. These islands are valuable due to their rich biological resources, strategic location at the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and potential oil and gas reserves. China’s claims in the South China Sea were outlined on a map with nine dashed lines (also known as the “cow tongue line”) in 1946. In 2016, a court in The Hague invalidated Beijing’s claims and upheld the Philippines’ challenge to its exclusive economic zone. Beijing did not participate in the trial.

The situation in the South China Sea region is also often complicated by the passage of US warships, which, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, violate international law and undermine China’s sovereignty and security. Despite protests from Beijing, official Washington stated that the United States would sail wherever international law permitted.

In January, the Philippine defense minister announced his intention to step up military engagement with the US and its allies over China’s supposedly more “aggressive” behavior. According to him, building up military capabilities will help make a more effective contribution to regional stability. Also in January, the foreign ministers of the Philippines and China agreed to develop cooperation and calmly resolve incidents in the South China Sea in order to reduce tensions in the region.