World

Philippines Will Go To War If China Claims Disputed Resources In South China Sea

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 29 , 2018 , 12:55 IST

Considering the massive strength of China as a global power economically and militarily, not many nations warn China of war. However, the Philippines has warned China that it will go to war over the natural resources in the South China Sea if China stakes claims on them, the Philippines foreign ministry said on Monday.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said, “Nobody can extract natural resources there on their own,” regarding the South China Sea.

“The president has declared that. If anyone gets the natural resources in the West Philippine Sea-South China Sea, he will go to war,” he said.

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Cayetano said that among other territorial issues discussed with China, were the construction activities at a disputed shoal and unilateral extraction of oil and gas in the South China Sea.

The Philippines has outlined a series of 'red lines' amidst the territorial dispute in the South China Sea which include any Chinese construction at the Scarborough Shoal or any effort to remove a dilapidated Philippine warship.

After becoming president of the Philippines 2 years ago, President Rodrigo Duterte has attempted to seek rapprochement and cooperation with China and has himself said in the past that a military conflict with China would be suicidal for the Philippines.

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“If we go to a full-blown war, where would the Philippines end up? Why would I give away the lives of my soldiers and policemen in a battle which I cannot win?” Duterte said earlier this month.

After a meeting between President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had issued a statement saying that China and Philippines should explore joint development of the South China Sea.

The contested South China Sea is a sensitive issue for the nations in the region, especially considering China's advances in the area by building artificial islands and setting up military resources there.