Home Economy Philippine’s Duterte orders troops to South China Sea reefs: report

Philippine’s Duterte orders troops to South China Sea reefs: report

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he has ordered troops to deploy on the unoccupied and disputed South China Sea islands, Agence France-Press reported, based on a press briefing by Duterte. Boosting the military presence there could provoke rival claimants, including Beijing. China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbors and has built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes. Duterte has previously sought to improve his nation’s relations with China by adopting a non-confrontational approach, but that may be changing. "I have ordered the armed forces to occupy all," Duterte reportedly said. Asian regional peace is expected to be among the topics when U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China’s President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

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