MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' new president says Manila is ready to talk to China, not go to war, if an arbitration tribunal rules in its favor in a case it brought against Beijing's claims in the South China Sea.
President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday the Philippines remains optimistic that the tribunal will rule in its favor. But he says if the ruling is not favorable, then the Philippines would accept and abide by it.
He says the country will proceed accordingly after it obtains a copy of the judgment.
The official China Daily reported Monday that China is ready to start negotiations with the Philippines if Manila ignores the tribunal ruling, which is expected to be issued on July 12.