Today: Thursday, 30 May 2024 year

Duterte orders troops to occupy South China Sea reefs

Duterte orders troops to occupy South China Sea reefs

Rodrigo Duterte took active steps and ordered Philippine troops to occupy and fortify all Philippine-held Spratly islands, which situated in the disputed the South China Sea. President announced this decision in the TV air on Thursday during his visit to the military camp.

Rodrigo Duterte has strong intentions to control the disputed Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea. The race to control territory between China and the Philippines continues, so Duterte decided to make the issue clear. In his speech at the military base in Palawan, President said:

“It looks like everybody is making a grab for the islands there, so we better live on those that are still vacant. At least, let us get what is ours now and make a strong point there that it is ours.”

According to Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines was claiming “nine or ten” Spratly islands, reefs and cays, while China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea. This resource-rich sea became a subject of rivalry between several South-east Asian neighbours but Philippines and China are main actors in this dispute so far.

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Despite the order of President, it is still unclear, how exactly the military will get “bunkers or houses and provisions for habitation”. There is no working infrastructure on many tiny reefs and outcrops, so the building of bunkers or any constructions on them are real problematic.