Duterte Claims He Gave Permission to China to Pass Through Benham Rise

President Rodrigo Duterte said that China previously asked for his permission to pass through the eastern Philippines territory, specifically in Benham Rise. Defense officials, who earlier expressed concern over the Chinese intrusion, said they are unaware of such order. Duterte’s statement, however, begs the question of why such permission is needed if the ship was only making an innocent passage as China had claimed. Duterte has been…

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