Survey: Pinoys want sea claim vs China pressed
Most Filipinos want their government to assert the country’s rights in the disputed South China Sea after an arbitration tribunal invalidated China’s vast territorial claims and ruled the Philippines can fish and exploit resources in the contested waters, according to an opinion poll released on Friday.
The Dec. 6-11 survey by pollster Pulse Asia showed 84 percent of 1,200 adult Filipinos polled nationwide agreed the government should uphold its rights in the disputed waters. It said 3 percent disagreed and 12 percent neither agreed nor disagreed. The survey had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
President Duterte has rapidly improved once-frosty relations with China and declined to forcefully and immediately demand its compliance with the July 12, 2016 arbitration ruling, which Beijing has refused to recognize.
That prompted China to allow Filipinos to resume fishing at the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which the Chinese Coast Guard seized in 2012. —AP
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