Mon. May 23rd, 2022

President Rodrigo Duterte said his administration will remain neutral amid the escalating tension between China and Taiwan.


Duterte said he was relieved that there is no tension in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as it allowed the military and police to provide necessary assistance to victims affected by Typhoon Odette.

“It’s good that there is no trouble yet at the South China Sea),” he said in Filipino in a command conference with local officials and military officials in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Thursday and aired on state-run PTV-4 on Saturday.

Should tensions arise, he said he will not go to war against China.

“If they start to cause trouble here, I would never allow that for as long as I sit as President. We will never take part in that. How can we match the firepower of China?” he added in Filipino.

Duterte said the military and police are not equipped to face the regional superpower.

“They are not geared for war. Why will we take part in that when we know what’s happening?” he said partly in Filipino.

A simple mistake could start a war in the region, the President said.

“This issue of Taiwan. If it goes south, one simple mistake, miscalculation when missiles rain down on Taiwan, then there is really war,” he said partly in Filipino.

For Duterte, it is best to avoid conflict because it does not concern the Philippines.

“I said that minuscule, we are minuscule in their power play. It does not concern us. We do not have the – except ‘yung South China Sea issue, which we’ll have to handle with the utmost diplomatic talent because we are not ready to confront China. Not at this time,” he said.

“We have the problem and it does not give us any reason to rise up in arms against China. That would be the most foolish thing that can ever happen there. We stay neutral. Let them be,” he added.

In October this year, tensions between China and Taiwan escalated when the former stepped up military activities near the main island.

China insists that Taiwan is part of its territory.

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