MANILA, Philippines?Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Ricardo David Jr. and top Chinese military and defense officials have reaffirmed that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved only through peaceful means.
In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine embassy in Beijing said this consensus was reaffirmed during General David?s meeting with China?s Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and People?s Liberation Army Chief of General Staff General Chen Bingde in Beijing on December 8 and 7, respectively.
?We must maintain peace and unhampered tranquility in the South China Sea,? General David told both Minister Liang and General Chen. ?The Philippines is committed to resolve disputes in the South China Sea in the most peaceful way together with China and Asean countries.?
General David also stressed that the Philippines is deeply committed to the principles embodied in the 2002 Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which calls for cooperation and peaceful negotiations between ASEAN members and China in the South China Sea .
Minister Liang said China has strictly implemented the DOC, stressing that all involved parties should guarantee peace and stability in the South China Sea and to handle (disputes) appropriately.
They also agreed to continue discussions to strengthen cooperation between the Philippines and China through exchange of high-level visits between defense officials and the militaries of both countries.
General David is in China as guest of the People?s Liberation Army and the Chinese government. It was his first visit to China since becoming AFP Chief of Staff, and his second foreign visit after Republic of Korea.