onsdag 23. september 2020

South China Sea: Duterte’s UN speech defending award wins praise – even from critics

Mounting domestic pressure led President Rodrigo Duterte to make his most strident defence yet of a 2016 arbitration ruling in favour of the Philippines’ claims in the South China Sea, one analyst has said, as critics of the leader welcomed his maiden speech before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. “The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded speech aired in New York on Tuesday.

“We firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” the leader said, without naming China. “We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for – the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition.”