Philippines to gain more from China if settlement reached despite tribunal ruling: Duterte

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/7/23 20:52:00

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed belief that the Philippines could get more benefits from China if the two countries could reach a settlement despite the recent ruling of the arbitral tribunal on the South China Sea issue.

Speaking during the inspection of a power plant in southern province of Maguindanao on Friday, Duterte said he was really praying that the Philippines could resolve the issue with China.

"On the (South) China Sea, if we can just have a settlement with them despite the arbitral judgment, I think we will get more benefits," he said.

He cited his administration's plan to establish economic zones all over the country as the reason for Philippines to settle dispute with China.

"I have a plan to put up industrial zones everywhere. Then our easy market, the locators would be China. China has the money, not America," he explained.

"So, I really pray that we are able to settle our fundamental (issue), this (South) China Sea," the President said.

Duterte has asked former President Fidel Ramos to be his special envoy to talk to China after the ruling made earlier this month favoring the Philippines on the territorial row in the South China Sea.

Duterte has said in the event that Ramos would not accept the offer to be his special envoy, he would tap former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan III.

Posted in: Diplomacy, Asia-Pacific

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