Duterte Orders Military to Occupy Disputed Islands in South China Sea
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered the military occupation of disputed islands in the South China Sea. “The unoccupied, which are ours, let’s live on it,” Duterte said. “It looks like everyone is making a grab for the islands there. So we better live on those that are still unoccupied. What’s ours now, we claim it and make a strong point from there.” China and other Asian countries lay claim to different parts of the South China Sea. China says nearly all of it is theirs. Duterte hinted that he might visit one of the islands, known as the Spratly archipelago, and raise the Philippines flag. The U.S. State Department did not comment.