Philippines' Duterte Issues Gag Order On Cabinet Over South China Sea Spat

Philippines' Duterte Issues Gag Order On Cabinet Over South China Sea Spat

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte barred his cabinet from talking about the South China Sea in public.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about US$3 trillion (S$4 trillion) worth of ship-borne trade passes each year.
  • In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled that that claim, which China bases on old maps, was inconsistent with international law.
  • Since taking office in 2016, Duterte has pursued warmer ties with China, setting aside the territorial spat in exchange for Beijing's promise of billions of dollars in loans, aid, and investment.
  • Duterte has rebuffed a call from China to withdraw vessels from disputed areas of the South China Sea and said he would not bow to pressure, even if it jeopardizes his friendship with Beijing.

Read the original story here.

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