President Duterte on Tuesday said that he was open to exploring the resources of the South China Sea with rival claimants China and Vietnam, contradicting Foreign Secretary-designate Alan Peter Cayetano, who said on Sunday that joint exploration was not a direction for the Philippines in the resolution of disputes in the strategic waterway.
Mr. Duterte also said he had no immediate plans to pressure China over an international tribunal’s ruling last year that its claim to almost all of the South China Sea was baseless.
“If we can get something there with no hassle at all, why not?” Mr. Duterte said at a news briefing in Davao City after his arrival from Beijing, where he attended a new Silk Road conference with leaders and representatives of 28 other countries.
Mr. Duterte was asked…
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