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Philippines


  Home > Philippines


China Wants ‘Friendly Consultation’ With PH On South China Sea Dispute


Photo courtesy of the Office of the Press Secretary

 


 November 18th, 2022  |  13:22 PM  |   192 views

MANILA

 

China believes that the Chinese and the Philippine governments “must stick to friendly consultation” as well as “handle differences and disputes properly” on the issues on the South China Sea.

 

The Chinese Embassy in Manila made the pronouncement on Friday following the bilateral meeting and the first in-person interaction between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Marcos Jr. at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Thailand.

 

While there was no confirmation from Marcos if he brought up his concern on the disputed water during their talk, the Chinese side said it believed there is a need “to keep strategic independence” as well as “uphold peace, openness and inclusiveness, and stay the course of regional cooperation” for China and the Philippines, considering they are both developing countries in Asia.

 

“They should work together to reject unilateralism and acts of bullying, defend fairness and justice, and safeguard peace and stability in the region,” it added, while China continues to build infrastructure on the artificial islands it created on the disputed waters.

 

Talking to reporters onboard PR001 before arriving in Cambodia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits on Nov. 9, Marcos said it would be impossible for him not to talk to his Chinese counterpart without mentioning anything about the South China Sea.

 

But after finally meeting Xi on Thursday, Marcos did not disclose if he took up the issue with the Chinese leader, although he said they talked “a little bit about regional issues.”

 

During the bilateral talk between the two leaders, the embassy also said Xi told Marcos that China sees its relationship with the Philippines from a strategic height.

 

They also followed up on their first interaction, where they held a phone call on May to agree that agriculture, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people exchanges are four priority areas of cooperation for growing ties between the two countries.

 

China vowed to work with the Philippines to carry forward “their friendship and cooperation, commit to national development and rejuvenation, and write a new chapter in China-Philippines friendship,” the embassy said, adding “the two sides need to create highlights in cooperation and enhance the quality of cooperation to the benefit of their peoples.”

 

China is also ready to maintain regular communication with the Philippines and import more agricultural products, the embassy also said, reiterating what the Chinese leader told Marcos.

 

This commitment was made as China believed the two sides “need to further deepen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippines’ ‘Build better more’ program, ensure the success of the Davao-Samal Bridge project, explore cooperation on ‘Two Countries, Twin Parks,’ and strengthen cooperation on clean energy, education, and public health.”

 

“The two sides need to take more concrete steps to increase people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cement public support for China-Philippines friendship,” it added.

 


 

Source:
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN

by Joseph Pedrajas

 

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