Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his nation could go to war if their soldiers were injured in the disputed South China Sea, a top adviser said Wednesday after allegations were made that Beijing had harassed Manila's forces in the area ,
"Just last night, the president said if my troops are injured there, that might be my red line," Esperon told reporters.
"Or if our people are injured there on Pag-asa Island, we do not say that we go to war, but if they oppress us, that can force our hand, because we will not let it oppress us
Pag-asa, better known as Thitu, is the largest of the islands and outcrops occupied by Filipino troops in the contested areas of the South China Sea.
Opposition law Gary Alejano al At a congressional hearing, it was alleged that a Chinese Navy helicopter harassed Filipino troops on Second Thomas Shoal, also of Manila, earlier this month.
The Philippine Navy launched a rubber boat to supply their second Thomas Shoal base … hovering at a near and dangerous distance, "Alejano said, adding that the helicopter's proximity had blown seawater into the Philippine ship. 19659008] Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano told the trial that the Philippines had protested the incident and "quietly resolved" the matter, but refused to reveal details.
China claims the largest part of the resource-rich ocean, which annually carries $ 5 trillion in maritime trade, and has in recent years recovered reefs and shoals, including some claimed by Manila.
Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to sea.
China this month has used anti-ship cruise missiles and ground-to-air missiles on the controversial Spratly Islands off the P to the hilipinian coast and flew nuclear-powered bombers to a base in another controversial part of the sea.
Duterte pointed out elsewhere that he would not go to war against Beijing and praised the relations that led to more trade and investment in China]