Manila: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to the US and said, “Now I say, you bring your planes, your boats to the South China Sea. Fire the first shot against China, and we are just here behind you. Go ahead, let’s fight”. Given the intensifying dispute between the Philippines and China in the region, the statements made by the Philippines President gain much significance.
Since the last few weeks, the dispute in the South China Sea has turned explosive once again. China had sent destroyers near the Pag-asa islands in the Philippines waters. At the same time, China had deployed its Secret Navy in the region as well. Considering the circumstances, Duterte received widespread criticism from the people of the Philippines, for not taking a harsh stand against the aggressive Chinese moves. Some of the Philippine leaders had even accused Duterte of compromising the national security to save the trade and political ties with China.
Two days ago, President Duterte urged the United States to attack China while answering to the criticism. Duterte clarified his position to the United States with a bold statement and said, ‘The Philippines can never win a war against China. We would suffer significant damages if we declared war against China to protect our rights in the maritime region. Beijing will launch its first attack on the Palawan province of the Philippines. I am not about to order my soldiers to go to the mouths of hell to die without a fight. I cannot do that.’
‘However, if the United States declares war against China, deploying its fighter jets and warships in the South China Sea, the Philippines will join the United States,’ President Duterte declared. Also, Duterte reminded of the historic agreement that was signed between the United States and the Philippines.