Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday of a “reckoning” with China if there was no resolution to a tense dispute over rival claims to the South China Sea.
An international tribunal ruled last month that China’s claims to most of the strategically vital waters had no legal basis, in what was seen as a sweeping victory for the Philippines, which filed the case.
Duterte repeatedly had said he did not want to anger China with an aggressive response, and sent an envoy to ease tensions, but on Wednesday signalled he was prepared to adopt a more confrontational approach.
“We will not raise hell now because of the judgement but there will come a time that we will have to do some reckoning about this,” Duterte said in a speech to soldiers at a military camp.
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