BANGKOK POST – The Philippines is not a warmonger in the South China Sea: Marcos

FILE PHOTO: A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the People's Liberation Army Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018.  (Reuters)

FILE PHOTO: A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the People’s Liberation Army Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018. (Reuters)

MANILA – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Sunday that his country is not in the business of provoking wars and always aims for a peaceful resolution of disputes amid escalating maritime disputes with China.

„In defense of the nation, we are true to our Filipino nature and we want to resolve all these issues peacefully,” Marcos said in a speech to troops of the Western Command, which is responsible for monitoring the South China Sea.

Philippine navy personnel and the Chinese coast guard clashed in the disputed waterway last week, where the Philippine military said a Filipino sailor was seriously injured and its ships were damaged.

„In the performance of our duties, we will not use force or intimidation, or willfully cause injury or harm to anyone,” Marcos said.

He did not mention China by name in his speech.

The United States, Britain and Canada have condemned Beijing’s routine Philippine redistribution mission.

China’s Foreign Ministry denied the Philippines’ account, and a spokesman on Thursday said the necessary measures taken were legal, professional and beyond reproach.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including areas claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s claims had no legal basis, a decision Beijing rejected.

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