President Rodrigo Duterte was warned or even told off by Chinese President Xi Jinping not to explore or drill for oil in the West Philippine Sea, Duterte himself revealed on Monday.
In a taped public address, the President told some accounts of his visit to China with some Cabinet members during the early days of his term.
“And pointedly, I said to President Xi Jinping in front of everybody, the two panels, there was a long discussion but I said, ‘Mr. President I know that we have conflicting claims but I have plans of going to West Philippine Sea to dig my oil,’” Duterte recounted.
Duterte said Xi told him: “Mr. President, please do not do that. You will just sour up a new beginning here, new friendship found. But if you do that,’ he said in almost whisper ‘there will be trouble.’”
However, Duterte did not say what type of trouble Xi meant, although the President said China’s military can easily beat the Philippines’ security forces in a war.
The West Philippine Sea is reportedly rich in hydrocarbon deposits.
Recently, Duterte said that while he values the Philippines’ friendship with China, he said that will not hesitate to send the country’s “gray ships” to confront China if the Asian giant starts drilling for oil in the disputed waters.