Manila – ‘The dispute over the Pag-asa islands in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines is still brewing. In the current situation, if China attacked the United States over the Scarborough Shoal standoff, the United States would come to our rescue. In that scenario, a world war would be triggered,’ Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned.
A few days ago, President Duterte had strongly condemned the incident where hundreds of Chinese ships that had laid siege to the Pag-asa islands. If China made the slightest mistake and touched the islands, the Philippine military would be ordered to ‘prepare for suicide attacks’ on the Chinese ships, Duterte had threatened. The warning being issued by President Duterte, who had adopted a China-leaning policy of boosting trade cooperation with Beijing over the past three years, came as a surprise.
During an interview with a Philippine-based news agency, President Duterte explained his position on the South China Sea. ‘A few years ago, there was a perceived threat from China to the fishermen from the Scarborough Shoal group of islands. At the time, the then US President had refused to support the Philippines on the issue. However, if China challenged the security of the Philippines now, the United States would jump into the fray. It would, thus, trigger a world war between the United States and China’, Duterte said.
‘At the same time, if a war is sparked between the two countries, nuclear bombs and hydrogen bombs will explode, and nothing will be left of this world. All of us will be eliminated,’ President Duterte claimed. He expressed willingness to resolve the dispute over the South China Sea, through deliberation. The Philippine President indicated that he would soon be meeting the Chinese President for this reason.
Meanwhile, the Chinese officials had already warned of a war sparking between the United States and China over the South China Sea. Moreover, the Chinese officials at the time had also suggested that China should ‘sink two of the US aircraft carriers’ if they want to dominate this maritime region.