Duterte gets rare praise for raising sea feud ruling at UN
A man wearing a protective mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus buys food from a makeshift stall in Quezon city, Philippines, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has extended a state of calamity in the entire Philippines by a year to allow the government to draw emergency funds faster to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and harness the police and military to maintain law and order. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, September 23, 2020 7:57AM EDT
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine president has received rare praises from key critics for invoking before the United Nations a 2016 arbitration ruling that invalidated China's vast territorial claims in the South China Sea.
His surprise move will likely pique Beijing.
President Rodrigo Duterte made one of his strongest defences of the landmark ruling in his first address before the annual U.N. General Assembly.
China has long refused to bring the issue to any international arena and Duterte has nurtured close ties with Beijing.
China refused to take part in the arbitration and has dismissed the ruling as a sham.
Beijing prefers direct negotiations with each of its rival claimants in the disputed waters and has vehemently refused to have the case internationalized.