Del Rosario invites Chinese foreign minister to Manila

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Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has invited Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit Manila for “consultations” as the Philippines wished to defuse tensions over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In a brief interview Thursday, Del Rosario told reporters that Wang said “he will consider” the invitation.

The two top diplomats  had a “testy exchange” over the dispute at the close of the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations ministers’ meeting in Brunei, where the regional maritime question became a centerpiece issue.

“What might be of interest is I invited the (Chinese) foreign minister to come and visit Manila so that we can have a full and constructive discussion on all issues,” Del Rosario said.

“I indicated to him that perhaps it’s time for him to do this because I have been to Beijing three times since I became foreign minister and all throughout that time, we have had no visits from the Chinese foreign minister,” he added.

Del Rosario did not deny what  happened behind closed doors during Sunday’s tense meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, where he reportedly rebuffed Wang’s speech in which the Chinese official enumerated complaints against the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea.

“I don’t think I should be discussing that but I did not deny what has been reported. As I said, there’s probably no need to add to it,” Del Rosario said.

Details of the meeting, including China’s allegations against the Philippines, have not been revealed but Wang’s remarks came just a day after the People’s Daily, known to be a  mouthpiece of the Chinese communist party, accused the Philippines of “illegal occupation” of the Spratlys and of “internationalizing” the sea dispute.

In a commentary on Saturday, the paper warned the Philippines of a “counterstrike” in the West Philippine Sea, a remark the Philippine government found “provocative.”

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  • truth_will_set_us_free

    INTERNATIONALIZING THE SEA DISPUTE WAS A BRILLIANT MOVE BY THE PHIL

  • Penny Lane

    Del Rosario got caught in his own words!

    China offers to remove BRP Sierra Madre from Ren’Ai (Ayungin) Shoal

    CHINESE Foreign Secretary Wang Yi made a tantalizing offer
    yesterday during the Asean Regional Forum in Brunei that rendered the
    articulate Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario speechless.

    Del Rosario told reporters that Wang said “Scarborough and
    Ayungin were theirs, historically, and we were the ones sending ships,
    interdicting their fishermen, and the grounded ship has been there for so
    long.”

    Wang was referring to BRP Sierra Madre which ran aground at
    Ayungin Shoal also known as Second Thomas shoal (Ren’ai Reef to the Chinese) in
    May 1999.

    Ayungin Reef is 105.77 nautical miles from Palawan. It is about 21 nautical miles from Mischief Reef, which was occupied by China in 1995.

    Del Rosario said he told Wang: “We don’t have money to move it.”

    Wang, del Rosario said offered “ to do it themselves.”

    Asked what was his reply to Wang, del Rosario said: “Nothing.”

    Asked what was the reaction of other participants, del Rosario said, “Nothing.”

    • gill

      it would be wise for PH to pull the ship back.

      • Patikotiko

        Don’t pull it out. That place is ours! If we remove it, that’s means you agree that it is theirs because you follow what they say. Don’t you see the logic? Even in court, they will tell you your stupidity if you follow what china says okay? Leave it there and give them more supply and provisions.

      • Penny Lane

        During a meeting between ASEAN foreign minister in Brunei, Del Rosario said reason ship is in the shoal is because Phil has no money to move it. China offered to move it for free. Del Rosario realizing he made a big blunder, just kept quiet, unable to respond back.

    • Maongoloid

      And you and the chinese official didn’t detect sarcasm from del Rosario.

  • Eslazar

    Picking a fight and testy exchange are not sign of a skillful diplomacy. I think the future will show that Del Rosario has failed us and put us in a corner.

  • Pedring2

    Thank you Mr. Secretary for rebuffing the thieves!

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