Xi pushes for ‘maritime mechanism’ to ease South China Sea tension – Zubiri
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday broached the idea of having a “maritime mechanism” that would immediately resolve conflicts in the South China Sea.
Xi now dubbed the disputed territory as the “Sea of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri told reporters at the Senate.
Zubiri said the Chinese leader talked about the disputed territory when he met with the leaders of Philippine Congress at a hotel in Taguig City.
The meeting, he said, was also attended by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and Senators Gringo Honasan and Panfilo Lacson, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other House leaders.
“Ang binanggit po nya (Xi), maganda naman daw pinag usapan nila ni President Duterte. At ang pangako nya ay ang focus will be on cooperation and friendship and not the controversial issues but more focus on the cooperation, and friendship,” he said.
“Also a setting up of a maritime mechanism, a sort of liaison, between the Philippine government and the Chinese government to push for cooperation and friendship.”
With the said maritime mechanism, Zubiri said, Filipino fishermen would no longer be harassed when they go to the South China Sea.
And should there be any problem or conflict that would arise between merchant vessels from the Philippines and China, for instance, there will be “an automatic mechanism, a liaison to resolve it immediately para wala pong tension,” the senator said.
“So yan ang pinangako nya sa dalawang liderato ng Kongreso,” he said.
Zubiri said Xi also thanked the leaderships of both the Senate and the House for their support for a “peaceful resolution” on the South China Sea issue./ac
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