On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned that China held possession of the South China Sea. He, as well, accentuated that the United States’ come back to the former naval base in the Southeast Asian country could only hoist a threat of war. In fact, President Duterte discoursed about the maritime dispute in his fifth state of the nation address. This discussion regarding the territorial conflict becomes the center of conflict between China and the United States in the area.
Meanwhile, critics of the Philippine President Duterte continued to remind the president’s decision to handle the territorial dispute. To respond to the criticisms, President Duterte acknowledged that he was incompetent in his territorial claims. He said that China claimed the South China Sea and that the Philippines did, too. However, he emphasized that China has advantages – the fleet strengths, the aircraft carriers, the submarines, the destroyers and frigates, the corvettes, and the coastal patrols, which the Philippines does not have them. In other words, the Philippines cannot make its way to defend itself if China attacks the country. The United States, as well, cannot even beat China’s power.
Moreover, President Duterte knew his stand. He even recognized China’s power. He said that his reason to take a step back on the South China Sea dispute was simple – the Philippines has not had any force to compete with China. “They own the property… so what can we do?” President Duterte added.
Finally, the Philippines loses its fight against China over the South China Sea.
Venzon, C. (27 July 2020). Duterte says Beijing is ‘in possession’ of the South China Sea. https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/South-China-Sea/Duterte-says-Beijing-is-in-possession-of-South-China-Sea?utm_source=paid.outbrain.com&utm_campaign=BA%20PH&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=E15-1&dicbo=v1-3ae22d89f1a07dee67fe51fd141c6967-00280e9c9208103b82992e13a5e43683ac-mqytqzrumyydmljxhfsdmljumjsdsllbgi2tsllfgy4gmmzrmztdqyrtmu