Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 15) — President Rodrigo Duterte, in a rare rebuke of China, said Beijing cannot simply claim jurisdiction over airspace above artificial islands it built in the disputed South China Sea.
“You cannot create an island,” Duterte said in Go Negosyo’s Pilipinas Angat Lahat program in Malacañang Tuesday. “It’s man-made… and you say that the air above this artifical island is yours. That is wrong.”
Duterte said the right of innocent passage is granted over open seas thus there is no need to ask for permission from China.
“So I hope that China will temper its, at least its behavior,” he added. “I do not want to quarrel with China.”