‘Any suggestion?’ Philippine leader Duterte asks after China’s Xi reaffirms South China Sea claims


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shake hands during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Aug 30, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippine president has acknowledged he’s short of solutions for having China adhere to Manila’s arbitration victory in their South China Sea disputes and says Chinese President Xi Jinping told him flatly: “We will not budge.”

President Rodrigo Duterte spoke for the first time about his talk with Xi about the thorny disputes in a late Wednesday (Sept 4) news conference where he was asked what move he would take next.

Duterte said: “That’s our problem what … If you can help by suggesting. Is there any other suggestion? Or have you heard of any sane solution short of going to war with China saying, ‘We will not budge”‘?

China has ignored the 2016 ruling by an international tribunal that invalidated Beijing’s massive claims in the South China Sea.