UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he will not antagonize China because the Philippines cannot match China’s military power.

Earlier this month, China reportedly installed missiles on the contested Spratly islands, in the South China Sea. Sources with knowledge of U.S. intelligence told CNBC, anti-ship and surface-to-air missile systems have appeared on three Chinese outposts; Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef.

All three islands, the so-called “Big Three,” are also claimed by the Philippines.

However, on May 16, Duterte defended his stance on the South China Sea dispute and said questioning China’s deployment of its air assets to the artificial islands in the Spratlys is pointless.

According to The Philippine Inquirer, Duterte said he could go to war with China but his troops would die and he would “look stupid.”