PH tells China: Don’t blame us ‘if others laud our approach’
The Philippine government on Friday got back on China for accusing the government of trying to “rope in” other countries to gain support over our maritime dispute at the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“We cannot be faulted if other countries have lauded the approach that we have decided to take in resolving this dispute that we have with our neighbor,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing.
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China has accused the Philippines of “exaggerating” the tension over the disputed seas, referring to the country’s ongoing military exercise with Japan and the United States.
It said the territorial dispute at the West Philippine Sea is “just a regional matter.”
While the Philippines has earlier clarified that the navy drill between the two countries is not related over the maritime dispute with China, Valte said the territorial row is of international concern.
“While they may say that it is a regional matter, it cannot be denied that (a) significant number of worldwide, of global trade passes through that region. And as such, again, it cannot be denied that it has an impact on those outside of the region,” Valte said.
She said the government is not exaggerating the territorial dispute with China, citing that the Philippines “have always advocated a rational discussion” on the issue.
“We don’t base our discussions on exaggerated facts because it is not in our nation’s interest to do so. In fact, from the beginning of this dispute, we have always advocated a rational discussion—a discussion that is based on issues, as well as an objective view of the facts as they happen,” she said.
The Philippines has filed series of diplomatic protest before the United Nations INternational Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos), but China has repeatedly refused to participate.
The Philippines will argue its case against China’s claim over the West Philippine Sea at the Hague in July. IDL
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