Wala nang makapipigil pa kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte para igiit kay Chinese President Xi Jinping ang naipanalong ruling sa Permanent C0ourt of Arbitration ng Pilipinas noong 2016.
Sa kanyang naging talumpati sa paglulunsad ng solar power sa Romblon, nangako ang pangulo na una niyang bubuksan ang usapin kay Xi sa kanilang nakatakdang pagkikita sa China sa Agotso 28.
Ito ay kahit pa aniya ikagalit o hindi ito magustuhan ng pangulo ng China.
‘’I’m going to China and the first thing that I’m going to bring out before them, the arbitral ruling. Ganito yan eh, so we did not go to war, hindi naman talaga tayo pwedeng makipag giyera sa kanila pero sasabihin ko sa kanila na ‘’you’ve all been saying na we do not have to go to war, we do not have to go to trouble, and let us resolve this controversy peacefully. I told you that before my term ends, I would have to talk to the Chinese so I will ask them. So, as what you said and what you have read upon, we talk to resolve this problem peacefully.’’
Sinabi pa ni Pangulong Duterte, kanya ring isusulong ang panukalang joint oil exploration sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at China.
Gayunman, hindi aniya siya papayag na tanging ang China lamang ang makinabang sa bahagi ng South China Sea na inaangkin ng Pilipinas.
‘’Whether you like it or not, make you happy or not, or make you angry, or so, I’am sorry. But we have to talk about arbitral ruling, then what do we get if there is a start in exploration and the extraction of whatever it is on the vowels of the earth, the proposal of 60-40 in our favour, would be a good start. What is there you have to share with us. Any other adventures or expeditions in the marine or oceans of the exclusive ecomonic zones, would have direct bearing on that arbitral.’’— Pahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.