MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said if elected president, he is willing to share the natural resources of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) with China if that will settle the maritime dispute between the Asian giant and the Philippines.
“We cannot defeat you (China). We will be pulverized if we go to war. So I will just tell them, ‘If you want to talk, let’s talk. Or you might just want to open this as a mutual corridor and I will be willing to talk to you if there are oil and gas. Let us do it joint exploration,’” he said.
Duterte’s pronouncement is consistent with his earlier statement that he prefers to pursue bilateral talks with China to resolve the dispute – the preferred track of China, which has rejected the involvement of any third party.