WATCH OUT! Duterte warns China

BY CHITO A. FUENTES

duterte with gun 2China has reason to watch out if Mayor Rodrigo Duterte becomes the next president.

If I become President, you better watch out, warned Duterte.

In Valencia City in Bukidnon last week,  the tough-talking Davao City mayor was winding up his talk on federalism when he suddenly shifted to the controversial Chinese incursions into Philippine territory.

Anti-ship ballistic missile of People’s Liberation Army Navy has extended its attack range to the Philippines, according to the US Navy’s first unclassified intelligence assessment report.

“Kung ako ma-presidente, bantay lang mo mga insika mo (If I become president, you Chinese better watch out),” Duterte declared, drawing laughter and applause from his audience inside the Valencia City gym.

Admitting that he has Chinese blood on his father’s side, the mayor appeared determined to decisively deal with the perceived Chinese aggression into Philippine territory.

p15The aggressive Chinese posturing in the disputed West Philippine sea has slowly stirred national pride among Filipinos who resent the bullying – and the county’s apparent helplessness to do something about it against the emerging economic and military giant.

Duterte, however, showed he already has a plan on how to deal with the problem.

“If I am the one to decide, I will cut Palawan lengthwise into two. The inner half will remain with us. The outer half I will lease to the United States,” the mayor said in Cebuano.

Duterte hinted that he will be willing to lease the allocated area to the Americans for, “say, $5,000 a month” where they will be face to face with the Chinese.

“You can kill each other there,” he added.

He said the two countries are “there for each other anyway”, in reference to the fight for political supremacy between the US and China in the Asia-Pacific region.

frontpageIn another forum in Palawan, Duterte said however that if the Chinese stopped their incursions and return to the original territories prior to their recent moves, he will in turn send US troops home.

“No more Balikatan,” he added, referring to the war exercises that are being opposed by leftist organizations suspicious of American intentions to perpetuate US presence in the country.

The mayor has repeatedly opposed American presence in the country and categorically declared he will not allow drones in Davao City.

Duterte’s aggressive position on the Chinese incursions is opposed to the position taken by Vice President Jejomar Binay who is pushing for bilateral talks between Manila and Beijing over the disputed South China sea.

“China has money, we need capital,” Binay was quoted as saying during his interview with Station DzYM in Catarman, Northern Samar last April 12.

Rappler said Binay made his comments days before President Benigno Aquino III said China’s actions in the South China Sea “should spark fear” around the world.

Like Duterte, Aquino has Chinese blood.

      In particular, Binay called for a “joint venture” between the Philippines and China in developing the natural resources in the South China sea, a part of which Filipinos consider the West Philippine sea. (CHITO A. FUENTES)

CHINESE MISSILES AIMED AT PHILIPPINES

Anti-ship ballistic missile of People’s Liberation Army Navy has extended its attack range to the Philippines, according to the US Navy’s first unclassified intelligence assessment report.

“The introduction of long-range anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), non-PLA(N) weapons such as the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), and the requisite Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture to provide targeting data will allow China to expand its combat capability further into the Philippine and South China Seas,” says in the report.

“Against this back drop of increasing military capability, China’s leaders appear increasingly willing to assert China’s maritime claims, even when such actions risk exacerbating tension with China’s neighbors,” the report added.

Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs has yet to confirm that China would also deploy sensor and missile systems in reefs it claimed in the South China Sea.

The Philippines is seeking more “substantive” support from United States on how to counter China’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea.

Secretary Albert del Rosario said he would seek clarification from United States officials on a plan by Washington to deploy more air and naval assets to the Asia Pacific region.

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