China has alarmed and angered its neighbours by claiming dominion over most of the South China Sea and building a string of artificial islands and military airbases.
Duterte said that China should "rethink" of warning other countries from flying the airspace above the artificial island China built in the WPS or South China Sea. "It's man-made and you say that the air above this artificial island is yours", Duterte said in his speech during the launching of the Go Negosyo's "Pilipinas Angat Lahat" program on Tuesday in Malacañang Palace.
"That is wrong, because those waters are what [one] would consider global sea and the right of innocent passage is guaranteed", said Duterte, who did not refer to any specific incident.
The Philippines and China have been engaged in territorial disputes over parts of the South China Sea for decades, along with Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. "Leave immediately, or you will bear responsibility for all the consequences!" a voice on a radio transmission suspected of coming from the artificial islands was heard saying.
However, the USA navy has forcefully asserted its right to freedom of navigation in the area, repeatedly sailing close to the man-made islands and drawing Chinese protests. It does not need any permission to sail through the open seas. "I'm still hoping we'll get to sign something in September that will allow the exploration", he said. "I don't think it will harm anyone if we all work together and find out what's in there", he added.
"All parties have to set aside for the meantime their claims on territory and sovereign rights to have joint exploration", Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in an ambush interview Wednesday. But at this time, because you will create...
They are all pro-China because China does not really...
"They're (experts) confident that the joint exploration and joint development will not be in conflict nor violate our constitution, and will not in any way damage or give away or do anything negative to our arbitration", he pointed out. "But one of these days I said before my term ends, I assure you that I will talk to them", Duterte said.