Philippines President Orders Military To Occupy South China Sea Islands
Oh no you didn't!
President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, ordered the national army to occupy islands in the famously disputed South China Sea area yesterday, in order to strengthen their claims. The military will start to build structures and erect flags on the islands to try and deter China from advancing in the area as they have previously laid claim to the territory.
"We have to maintain our jurisdiction over South China Sea," Duterte told reporters. China has previously occupied islands that the Philippines laid claim to, as well as built artificial islands by dredging water and piling up sand over time. The sudden decision to establish a military foothold in the area is a complete 180 of Duterte's previous approach, as last year he decided to ignore a tribunal that ruled China's South China Sea claims as illegitimate. He also announced a policy change where he pledged to shift his allegiance from the US to China. Looks like that plan went out the window on account of him feeling geopolitically cuckolded by China's South China sea presence.
The disputed South China Sea territory has always been a touchy subject with China, which has laid claim to islands that lie in maritime boundaries of several countries in South East Asia. Here's hoping Duterte doesn't bring about World War 3.