We will not waste ‘best of relations’ with China – Duterte

“We have the best of relations now. We will not waste that,” President Rodrigo Duterte said regarding the Philippines’ relationship with China.

“It’s noteworthy to say that, alam mo, they used to drive fishermen or fishermen sa – fishermen away from the – fisherfolks along the coastal ranges of the Philippines. Noong natapos kami, sir, na nag-usap, ‘yong mga visits ko sa China, they allowed fishing,” President Duterte said.

“So they were allowed to enter except in some prohibited areas, especially the lagoon there in the middle of the sea. Hinahayaan na lang muna – hinayaan nila tayo. They never did anything that was provocative or anything punitive against our fisherfolk, our fishermen. I don’t know now because maybe the cline is becoming clear that we are more – not really forceful but a little bit stronger now in our dealings with them,” he said.

“But I would like to assure, I said to China, I assure you guys that nothing of a sort of placing their arms against you. Even if we put our entire Navy ships there, we will not start a war because we cannot afford it. I was just being frank to everybody. And China understood us,” President Duterte added.

“I said when I – the pandemic started, I knew right away the problem. The problem is we do not have it. We do not manufacture it. So I called President Xi. Sabi ko sa kanya na ano, “Mr. President, we do not have the resources. We have not reached that sophisticated level of technology to do a mass manufacture of vaccines right away and even to find one.” Sabi ko, huwag mo lang kaming kalimutan. And he said, “Yes, of course, we are friends.” So he said, “I’ll send you.” So the first vaccines that arrived in the Philippines were donated by China. And now these idiots in the other side, para bang sinasabi lumuluhod, I kneel down before China because of the – I asked help from China,” he explained.