MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday the South China Sea dispute, involving China and five other claimants including the Philippines, was “better left untouched”.
“We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues,” Duterte said at a ceremony on the eve of a summit of East and Southeast Asian nations in the Philippine capital.
“The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war.”
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, with competing claims from Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
Reporting by Martin Petty, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan