Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated that his country will not conduct joint patrols with the United States in the South China Sea.
Duterte said in a speech on Tuesday that he doesn’t want the Philippines to be involved in a hostile act. He said he doesn’t want to ride gung-ho style with China or with America.
Duterte is rejecting a deal made by his predecessor Benigno Aquino in April.
The patrols are intended to bolster military cooperation with the US to counter Beijing’s increasing activities in the contested waters. China has built runways and radar facilities on its artificial islands.
But Duterte has shown willingness to improve ties with China to receive economic assistance.
This is the first time he has disclosed a concrete intention to reconsider the Philippines’ military cooperation with the US since he took office in June.
Observers say it may affect bilateral relations.
Source and image: NHK