President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said that he would raise the supposed militarization in the South China Sea when he sits down with Chinese President Xi Jinping in bilateral talks in Vietnam over the weekend.
In a press conference held after he met the Filipino community in Pulchra Resort in Da nang, Vietnam, the President said he would press China to come up with a code of conduct to govern countries with competing claims to the South China Sea.
Duterte added that as the chairman of this year’s ASEAN Summit, he would tell Xi that the Southeast Asian nations were “wary and worried,” about the militarization in thedisputed waters."In the bilaterals, I would insist that we hurry up. I do not want to lose the friendship of China. China is a good friend. China was there when we needed most their help," Duterte said.
"I have to tell the truth that every body is worried," he added.
Duterte said he would not ask China to dismantle the arms installations in some islands in the South China Sea but added that he would like to know if navigation would remain unimpeded in the area.
“Those are not decorations,” Duterte said.
Duterte confirmed that his bilateral meeting with Xi will be on Saturday.
The meeting will extend the President’s stay by two hours to accommodate Xi.
After talking to Xi, Duterte will come back to the Philippines where he will meet with United States President Donald Trump on November 13. —with a report from Trisha Macas/NB, GMA News