Duterte says China’s Xi threatened war if Philippines drills for oil

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing. REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool

By Manuel Mogato | MANILA Fri May 19, 2017 | 9:30am EDT

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea.

In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines.

Duterte said he discussed it with Xi when the two met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm, but friendly warning.

“We intend to drill oil there, if it’s yours, well, that’s your view, but my view is, I can drill the oil, if there is some inside the bowels of the earth because it is ours,” Duterte said in a speech, recalling his conversation with Xi.

“His response to me, ‘we’re friends, we don’t want to quarrel with you, we want to maintain the presence of warm relationship, but if you force the issue, we’ll go to war.”

Duterte has long expressed his admiration for Xi and said he would raise the arbitration ruling with him eventually, but needed first to strengthen relations between the two countries, which the Philippines is hoping will yield billions of dollars in Chinese loans and infrastructure investments.

The Hague award clarifies Philippine sovereign rights in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, 85 nautical miles off its coast.

It also invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim on its maps denoting sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

Duterte has a reputation for his candid, at times incendiary, remarks and his office typically backpeddles on his behalf and blames the media for distorting his most controversial comments.

Duterte recalled the same story about his discussion with Xi on oil exploration in a recorded television show aired moments after the speech.

He said Xi told him “do not touch it”.

He said Xi had promised that the arbitration ruling would be discussed in future, but not now.

Duterte said China did not want to bring up the arbitral ruling at a time when other claimant countries, like Vietnam, might also decide to file cases against it at the arbitration tribunal.

It was not the first time the firebrand leader has publicly discussed the content of private meetings with other world leaders.

His remarks came the same day that China and the Philippines held their first session in a two-way consultation process on the South China Sea.

They exchanged views on “the importance of appropriately handling concerns, incidents and disputes involving the South China Sea”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that gave few details.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Martin Petty)

Source: Reuters “Duterte says China’s Xi threatened war if Philippines drills for oil”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


9 Comments on “Duterte says China’s Xi threatened war if Philippines drills for oil”

  1. Steve says:

    In the cloak of darkness, these Filipino and Vietnamese Bandidos alias the SCS Alibaba thieves of the high seas has been stealing and robbing the Chinese blind, when China was too poor to provide security over it’s historical claims.

    Right Now, they are staring into the barrels of China’s PLAN frigates and destroyers, China’s air bomber patrols fully armed and a very wealthy superpower. These Vietnamese and Filipinos should thank their midnight stars that China, insofar has not taken any decisive military actions against these scoundrels by taking back the stolen islands, starting with Zhong Ye island.

    China should steadfastly, secure it’s claims by militarising those engineered islands, further expansion as required and enforce it’s jurisdiction.

    Actually, this farcical PCA award is a legal instrument, but unenforceable and non binding on China. China will never recognise this comical PCA award as initiated by Aquino, supported by Obama and his crooked alliances (Australia, UK, Japan …..)


  2. Gon says:

    “The Hague award clarifies Philippine sovereign rights in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, 85 nautical miles off its coast.”

    This pure BS as the writers of the bias article knows it. There’s no better word to describe it.

    What “award”? What “arbitration”? What “court”?

    The whole set up, as all intelligent people can discern, is just a scam to justify the Philippines – under its former President Benigno Aquino – seizing the Spratly islands from its legal owner.


    • Simon says:

      The bogus court was sponsored by the Phillipines, supported by the Americans (who incidentally is not a signature to UNCLOS) and arbitrated by a Japanese judge. Only the complainent/sponsor was present in court to put its case. China was not even present, did not present any case because it does not aknowledge the court’s jurisdiction and impartiality. It rarely issue ruling that are respected. The Chinese has seriously underminded whatever legitimacy the Hague has. It is a bogus court and pretend to be UN agency by occupying the same building. It is nothing more than just another group acting in the interest of Western government like Amnesty.


    • Joseph says:

      The PCA would not even take Timor Leste issue with Australia, and even if it is willing, Australia has harshly indicated that the PCA has no jurisdiction over the matter and would not attend or honor any rulings. So what kind of court is this anyway that is ignored by anyone but China has to be forced to respect?


      • Steve says:

        These are Scoundrels. Julie Bishop Australian FM disrespected China as a responsible power for not honouring the PCA award and yet their actions are contrary to the Timor Leste issue with Australia. US UK Japan Australia France are All hydra heads belonging to the same toxic creature. Australia claims almost 5.9 million km2 of the Australian Anatarctic Territorial Waters (AAT). Only 4 nations UK NZ France Norway recognise such claims, but Japan don’t recognise it as the Japs conduct whaling in the area. Compared to China’s historical rights its about 90% of SCS (3.5km2). China should seriously consider fishing and exploration in the AAT.


      • Max says:

        “So what kind of court is this anyway that is ignored by anyone but China has to be forced to respect?”

        Once, we used to respect the Anglo-Saxons but today under the neocon-led America, that respect is gone.


  3. Simon says:

    The Phillipinos don’t even have the resource and know how to drill oil.
    China will not raise the Hague arbitration ever because it is not legally binding and no one recognises it. Duterte appear to suggest China is actually respecting it and does no wish to raise it at the moment is a complete hogwash. The arbitration award is dead. China, ASEAN, America, EU, everyone knows it.

    China’s claim in SCS is merely honouring post WW2 agreement in which Japan surrender all territories its held to its original owner.


  4. Joseph says:

    So, basically Duterte consulted with Xi Jinping about the drillings. As usual, the Reuters twisted the story, otherwise the Filipino would not need Reuters to reports for them. It was not even reported if Duterte proposed join drilling. Xi reportedly said ‘we are friends’, which means ‘let’s talk about it another time, it is still volatile’. But Reuters’ Petty would edit it to be ‘don’t touch it, or we will go to war’, along with the boring and repetitive ruling from PCA, a private European court who would not even rule obvious dispute between Australia and Timor Leste simply because it doesn’t serve Western interest. Still, Reuters did not explain how Duterte managed to get the much-needed Chinese funds and investments if such heated argument ever took place. As I recall, last time Duterte called Obama a ‘son of a bitch’, Reuters and other Western media had a hard time to edit to make it softer. They have to settle ‘bitch’ with ‘whore’, eventhough both words were equally offensive.


  5. Fre Okin says:

    Silly Pinoy never learn. Besides threatening war, China can easily drill just a few hundred feet away once she found PH discover oil and siphon off whatever PH discover. China will simply say this is disputed territory and there is nothing PH can do about it. Remember the PCA court is not UN sanctioned and the ruling is not legitimate. It is purely a political win, with big losses too re 12 NM ‘rocks’ ruling, for PH, not based on law.