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Duterte: South China Sea dispute is ‘better left untouched’

November 12, 2017 11:17 AM
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Duterte: South China Sea dispute is ‘better left untouched’

In this photo, taken Nov. 11, 2017, and released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands as they pose for a photo during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Danang, Vietnam. (Photo by FEI MAOHUA / Xinhua via AP)

The territorial dispute among the Philippines, China and other claimants of the South China Sea “is better left untouched,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday.

“Today China is the number one economic powerhouse, and we have to be friends. The other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world for so many issues,” Duterte said during his speech at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) business and investment summit (ABIS) and the launch of the Asean Mentors for Entrepreneurship Network (Amen).

“The South China Sea is better left untouched. Nobody can afford to go to war,” he added.

Check out our Asean 2017 special site for important information and latest news on the 31st Asean Summit to be held in Manila on Nov. 13-15, 2017. Visit


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