21:37 GMT27 February 2020
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    A conflict with China would "be a massacre", the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte said.

    DAVAO (Sputnik) — If the Philippines engaged in a military conflict with China over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, it would be a massacre, the Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte said in his interview with Russian media.

    "Do you expect me to fight China in a war? Do I have the cruise missiles for hitting them?" he said, adding that if the conflict happens, "it’s going to be a massacre."

    The Philippines and China are both laying claims to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which are also contested by Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

    In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled upon the claim of the Philippines that China has no legal grounds for territorial claims in the South China Sea. China refused to recognize the court’s decision.


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