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The government maintains a neutral posture in the China-Taiwan dispute.

In the midst of the rising conflict between China and Taiwan, President Rodrigo Duterte has stated that his administration will remain impartial.

Duterte expressed his relief that there is no tension in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), as it allows the military and police to provide crucial help to Typhoon Odette victims.

“It’s excellent that there’s no trouble yet in the) South China Sea,” he remarked in a command conference with local politicians and military leaders in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Thursday, which broadcast on state-run PTV-4 on Saturday.

He stated that if tensions escalate, he will not go to war with China.

“Kung sabihin nila na mag-gulo sila tapos gamitin, eh (If they start causing trouble here), I would never tolerate that as long as I am President),” he said. ‘Hindi nga tayo magsali diyan sa’yo’yo’yo’yo’yo’yo’yo (We will never take part in that). “How can we match China’s firepower?” Added he.

According to Duterte, the military and police are unprepared to deal with the regional giant.

“They aren’t designed for combat.” Why will we participate in that if we know what’s going on?” Bakit ako sasali diyan na makita mo naman. he stated

According to the President, a small blunder could spark a regional conflict.

“Itong issue ng (This issue of) Taiwan,” says the narrator. If things go wrong, one simple blunder, miscalculation diyan, pagkatumama ‘yan sa, ‘yung mga missiles nila ulanin ‘yung (when missiles rain down on) Taiwan, then we’re talking about actual war,” he warned.

It is advisable for Duterte to avoid conflict because it is unrelated to the Philippines.

“I said tiny lang tayo diyan sa power play nila,” he explained (We are minuscule in their power play). We are unconcerned about it. We don’t have anything save the South China Sea issue, which we’ll have to deal with with the highest diplomatic skill since we aren’t prepared to face China. He responded, “Not at this time.”

“We have an issue, but that does not justify our taking up guns against China.” That would be the greatest blunder that could ever occur there. We maintain our neutrality. He said, “Bhala sila (Leave them alone).”

Tensions between China and Taiwan erupted in October of this year as the former increased military activity near the main island.

Taiwan, China claims, is a portion of its land.

In the South China Sea, China, the Philippines, and a number of other littoral governments have competing claims.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague found in 2016 that Beijing’s nine-dash line, a demarcation that spans about 80% of the South China Sea, is unconstitutional.

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