Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea was not a serious concern and if it was, the United States should come in and stop it from happening.
Duterte said he saw no urgency in raising with Beijing a July ruling made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that invalidated most China’s claims to most of the waterway, and said it would take place “during my time”.
“I cannot let it pass and be neglected,” he said of the ruling during an interview with CNN Philippines.
On the manmade islands, he said: “If it was really a serious concern, then the United States should lead the way and stop it.”
(Reporting by Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales)