Philippines President Says China Threatened War Over Territory Dispute

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Romana said the Philippines side and the China delegation headed by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, have found ways to discuss maritime cooperation in the South China Sea.

Lin added that the issue should be dealt with through multilateral discussions, based on the principles of shelving differences and seeking joint development of resources.

President Duterte revealed Friday night that Chinese President Xi Jinping warned him of going to war if Manila would insist on the arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea.

It shows the Philippines' agreement on adherence to the China-championed "dual-track" approach, which calls for disputes to be resolved peacefully through negotiation between directly concerned parties, and for China and ASEAN members to work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, said Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies.

Baja also expressed doubts that the code of conduct that is being crafted to address the territorial dispute in the South China Sea could resolve the decades-long conflict in the region.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that "it is very inappropriate" that the joint statement made by Japan and New Zealand this week involves the South China Sea. That ruling found that China's capacious nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea had no validity under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. That prompted a retort from Mr Xi, according to Mr Duterte.

Chee attributed the success of the meeting to the stable situation in the South China Sea and to the series of meetings since the implementation of the DOC in 2002.

Beijing claims nearly all of the South China Sea including a cluster of islands, reefs and atolls further south called the Spratlys.

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File Photo of Yongxing Island, home to the government of Sansha, China's southernmost city.

China installed new "anti-frogmen" rocket launchers on Fiery Cross Island, which is claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Chinese and ASEAN officials will meet in August in the Philippines to submit the agreed framework.

Duterte has orchestrated a staggering reversal of Philippine foreign policy toward China, choosing not to confront Beijing over the South China Sea, but to tap it for billions of dollars of loans and investments for infrastructure, the backbone of his economic agenda.

Last year, the Philippines won the case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.

But under President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in June 2016, the Philippines has pivoted toward Beijing - seeing China as a source of much needed investment - and away from the U.S., which, despite a mutual defense treaty, Duterte regards as an unreliable ally. They started working on the Conduct Code in 2013 in a bid to enforce the dispute-resolving declaration.

Liu said the text of the framework agreement would remain secret and projected no date for finalizing the code of conduct.

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