Asia Unhedged | Duterte heeds Beijing’s warning, cancels visit to disputed island
President Rodrigo Duterte shows no signs of reversing his China pivot. Photo: Reuters, Wu Hong
President Rodrigo Duterte shows no signs of reversing his China pivot. Photo: Reuters, Wu Hong
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Duterte heeds Beijing’s warning, cancels visit to disputed island

The Philippines president decided not to raise his country’s flag on the island of Thitu after China warned “there will likely be trouble”

April 14, 2017 3:16 AM (UTC+8)

President Rodrigo Duterte announced last week that he would raise the Philippine flag on the disputed island of Thitu and fortify it with barracks. The move came as a surprise amid Duterte’s continued pivot to closer ties with China, and ruffled feathers in Beijing, as expected.

To no one’s surprise, Duterte acquiesced to Beijing’s request that he cancel the trip, saying that “because we value [China’s] friendship I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag. He added that China warned him “there will likely be trouble,” in the event of such a move.

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