By: Elena Grace Flores
Mark Toner, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson, said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the Philippines from July 27 to 27 for talks with President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay. Kerry will discuss “the full range” of U.S. cooperation with the new Duterte administration; as per CNN Philippines.
In the last U.S. congressional delegation’s meet-up with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg last Tuesday in Malacañang Place, the official home and office of the nation’s top leader ended up in Duterte stressing to the American delegates that there’s definitely no trade off as far as territorial claims are concerned with China. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy indicated via social media particularly twitter that Duterte “assured them that he won’t negotiate with China” over the South China Sea dispute. They were first US elected officials to meet with Duterte and he confirmed that Duterte will not trade territorial rights to China because the Tribunal ruling is simply non-negotiable.
Needless to say, Kerry’s visiting Duterte has definitely something to do on what the moves of the Philippines would be to be supported by the United States defense-wise if that path will be the only choice to let China follow the international ruling.