“Let’s pull out:” Pres. Duterte orders to stop construction work on Sandy Cay after China protested

Image from Daily Star PH
  • Duterte ordered to stop the construction of fishermen’s shelter on Sandy Cay
  • China has protested the Philippines’ construction work in the disputed sandbars
  • DFA Sec. Cayetano reminded Pres. Duterte that China and the Philippines had an earlier agreement not to build on any new features in South China Sea

The construction of shelter for fishermen on a sandbar near the Manila-controlled Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea was ordered stopped by President Rodrigo Duterte after China protested.

China claimed that building of structures in the contested territory is a violation of an earlier agreement between the two nations to maintain status quo in the disputed area.

According to Philstar, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza said President Duterte decided to stop the construction of shelter in Sandy Cay after Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano reminded him that China and the Philippines agreed not to build on any new features in South China Sea.

“We tried to put some structures in one of the sandbars near our island and the Chinese reacted. They complained that we are occupying a new feature,” Lorenzana said during the “ASEAN Leadership Forum amid a New World Order” conference in Makati City.

“The President came to know about this and he said: ‘Let’s pull out,’” he added.

Lorenzana said the dispute over the sandbars in Sandy Cay has not been resolved but the Philippine and China agreed not to occupy new territory.