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Duterte wants to confront China militarily, but in a ‘friendly way’



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Hard stance Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his military to assert ownership of Benham Rise area to Beijing – but in a nice way.

Duterte says he instructed the military to assert Philippine ownership of the large ocean region off the country’s northeastern coast where China’s survey ships were spotted last year.

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He however noted that he ordered the military to claim the area in a friendly way, repeating his country has no option but to be diplomatic because it “cannot match the might of China”.

“My order to my military, you go there and tell them straight that this is ours, but I say it in friendship,” Duterte said in a news conference when asked about the issue in the Pacific Ocean.

According to defence chief Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippine military spotted the Chinese survey ships suspiciously crisscrossing the Benham Rise waters from July to December last year forcing the country to assert ownership of the area.


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