If Washington wants the Philippines to fight China, the US military should come and fire the first shot, President Rodrigo Duterte argued, accusing the US of using its allies as “bait” for Beijing. “There is always America pushing us, egging us … making me the bait. What do you think Filipinos are, earthworms?” Duterte said in a speech in Leyte province on Friday, which only got media attention on Sunday. “Now I say, you bring your planes, your boats to South China Sea. Fire the first shot and we are just here behind you. Go ahead, let’s fight,” he added. “Do you want trouble? OK, let’s do it.” The remarks came as the government in Manila finds itself sandwiched between US demands for a tougher posture towards China and Beijing’s maritime expansion in the South China Sea, specifically the islands that the Philippines have claimed as their own.
Source: Duterte dares the US to bring its fleet to fight China: ‘Want trouble? You first!’