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Duterte: arbitration puts Manila in awkward position


07-01-2016 17:30 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

The Philippines' new president Rodrigo Duterte has said an arbitral tribunal's decision on the South China Sea disputes, even if favorable to the Philippines, would put his country in an awkward position with China. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague said on Wednesday that it would release a verdict on the arbitration unilaterally proposed by the Philippines on July 12th.

Duterte said at the first meeting of his cabinet on Thursday he wanted to further discuss the arbitration case with the members of the Cabinet Security, Justice and Peace cluster, especially the impact of the forthcoming decision of the tribunal.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has reiterated the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case and the relevant subject matter. He has also said it should not have heard the case or render any award.

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