US

Philippines to insist on tribunal ruling if China drills

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he would insist on a ruling of an international arbitration that invalidated Beijing's claims to most of the South China Sea if China starts to siphon minerals from the area.

His statement in an interview with CNN Philippines Thursday was a departure from his earlier pronouncement that he would set aside the July 12 ruling because he does not want to impose on China.

Duterte also criticized the United States, saying it did not do anything when China started building artificial islands in the disputed sea.

Duterte, who took office in June, has taken steps to mend relations with China that grew hostile during the time of his predecessor over the long unresolved territorial disputes.