Contrary to the action of the US government under President Donald Trump, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not be blacklisting Chinese companies involved in Beijing’s reclamation and militarization projects in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“The President declared last night that the Americans could blacklist Chinese companies in their territories in America and maybe in their military bases under their jurisdiction. But what the President said was clear: He will not follow the directives of Americans because we are a free and independent nation, and we need those investments from China. We are not a vassal state of any foreign power,” said Roque.

The statement came after Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. proposed to ban Chinese firms like in the US to show that the Philippines stands firm in its opposition to China’s incursions in the WPS and solidify the country’s sovereignty.

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