Philippines' Duterte gives China free pass over sea row

Philippines' Duterte gives China free pass over sea rowPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte failed to condemn China’s push to control most of the disputed South China Sea on Sunday after hosting a regional summit, handing Beijing a political victory. A day after taking centre stage as host of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders’ meeting, Duterte released a bland chairman’s statement that ignored last year’s international ruling outlawing China’s sweeping claims to the key waterway. China has been turning reefs and shoals in areas of the sea claimed by the Philippines and other nations into artificial islands, and installing military facilities on them.



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