Duterte, Trump hit South China Sea ‘militarization’

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MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump criticized the “militarization” of the disputed South China Sea as the two parties held their first bilateral meeting.
 
“Both sides reiterated their commitment to uphold their principles including the freedom of navigation and overflight, and the exercise of self-restraint,” said a joint statement by the Philippines and the US.
 
The two leaders also “stressed the importance of peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea, in accordance with international law, as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention.”
 
“They further underscored the need to continue pursuing confidence-building measures to increase mutual trust and confidence, and to refrain from actions that would escalate tensions, including militarization,” the joint statement added.
 
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