Esperon on China assurance of peace in SCS: 'Any country can say that' | Global News

Esperon on China assurance of peace in SCS: ‘Any country can say that’

/ 10:27 AM July 31, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—”Any country can say that.”

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.’s said this on Wednesday in response to China’s assurance of peace and stability in the South China Sea (SCS), adding that no country will admit to initiating an armed confrontation.

“Siyempre sasabihin nila ‘we will not fire the first shot’. Who will fire the first shot? Sinong country ang magsasabi nun? Wala naman. Ganun din tayo,” Esperon said at the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.


During the 92nd anniversary celebration of the People’s Liberation Army on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said China would follow a path of “peaceful development” in dealing with the South China Sea dispute.


Zhao noted that Beijing is militarizing its territories in the disputed waterways for the purpose of self-defense.

READ: China says it won’t take first shot amid maritime tension

Earlier, Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte will not be complacent despite China’s assurance of peace, noting that the government is not taking words of other nations on “face value” while Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana tagged the remark as mere “optics.”

READ: China won’t fire first shot? Palace says PH doesn’t take words on ‘face value’ 


READ: Lorenzana admits China’s ‘bullying’; says Beijing’s peace ‘rhetoric’ just ‘optics’



But Esperon, a former military chief, said the country will continue to pursue diplomatic negotiations with China as declared by the President during his fourth State of the Nation Address.

The Philippines, along with fellow Southeast Asian neighbors Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, have overlapping claims to the sea along with China. Despite an agreement to refrain from undertaking provocative actions, China has continued to expand and militarize territories that it claims in the maritime region.

Peace in the disputed territories faces a fresh hurdle when a Chinese trawler rammed and sank a Filipino fishing boat in Recto Bank, an area within Manila’s exclusive economic zone.


READ: China fishing vessel sinks Filipino boat after ‘collision’ in West Philippine Sea 

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Duterte had repeatedly refused to make provocative actions in dealing with the long-standing territorial dispute with China, noting that the Philippines cannot match Beijing’s military prowess in time of armed confrontation.  /muf

TAGS: Global Nation, Hermogenes Esperon, local news, national news, News, Philippine news update, South China Sea

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.