Won't enter into a conflict with China, says Philippine President Duterte

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Manila [The Philippines], May 23 (ANI) :Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday made it clear that Manila does not have the cruise missile to hit China, and therefore, is focused on developing cooperation with China, ASEAN and Russia. Duterte, who will begin his official visit to Russia on Wednesday, said Manila will continue negotiations with Beijing on the territorial claims in the South China Sea when the time is conducive for the talks. In an interview to Sputnik, the Philippine leader said if the Philippines is engaged in a military conflict with China it would be a "massacre" and talks will take place but when the time is right for the talks to resume."On the contrary, Duterte questioned , "Do you expect me to fight China in a war? Do I have the cruise missiles for hitting them?. Stressing that Manila is in mood to demand protection from Washington in the event of a military conflict with China, Duterte said he considers U.S. President Donald Trump as a friend, and at the same time Philippines has turned away from its previous pro-American foreign policy and is now focused on developing cooperation with China,ASEAN and Russia. This statement of Duterte is pertinent at this juncture as recently, China's president Xi Jinping in a televised speech on May 19 has warned the Philippines that it would go to war if Manila insisted on enforcing an International arbitration decision rejecting China's claim over disputed areas of the South China Sea.(ANI)