“I have a proposal. Kung gusto talaga ng Amerika na paalisin ‘yung China, hindi ko man kaya, maghingi ako ng tulong sa kanya. I want the whole fleet of the Seventh — the Seventh Fleet of the Armed Forces of the United States there,” President Rodrigo Duterte said during a media interview on July 8.
“Magpasok sila sa China Sea, magpasok ako. I will ride doon sa Amerikano na mauna doon sa ano. I will invite Carpio, del Rosario, Morales to ride with me. Then sabihin ko sa Amerikano: Sige, pasabugin na natin lahat,” he added. “Tingnan – Wala. ‘Yan man ang gusto nila away talaga.”
“What would really result if we — I go there and insist on driving them out? You would think China would — would allow itself to be bullied? Papayag kaya ang China? They… Kaya ang tanong ko sa inyo is who is in the possession of the property under the claim of the legitimate ownership,” he said.
“Tayo ang nagsabi illegitimate. Pero ang China is there which says: This is ours and we claim it. Tayo naman: Go out because that is ours. Pero kung sabihin mo I committed a constitutional infraction because I allowed the Chinese fishermen to fish, hindi nila pinag-aralan talaga,” he added. “Kaya ‘wag kayong maniwala niyang mga constitutionalist-constitutionalist. Mga Carpio diyan, susmaryosep.”
US Navy Seventh Fleet is the largest of the US Navy’s forward deployed fleets.
Its area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50% of the world’s population, including the five largest foreign militaries: China, Russia, India, North Korea, and the Republic of Korea; and five US Mutual Defense Treaty Allies: the Philippines, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
According to US Navy fact sheet “at any given time there are roughly 50-70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in Seventh Fleet.”
Its area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border;and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.