Cuisia: Duterte-Xi meeting may expedite signing of South China Sea code of conduct
MANILA, Philippines — The scheduled meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping may expedite the signing of the code of conduct on the South China Sea, a former diplomat said.
Former Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Cuisia Jr. had this to say as Duterte flew to China on Wednesday night to meet Xi and two other ranking Chinese officials.
Cuisia on Thursday said China will not recognize the 2016 ruling on the South China Sea.
“I’m sure China will not budge in their position. They will not respect the ruling, but it could lead to the acceleration of the signing of the binding code of conduct,” he told ANC’s Early Edition in an interview.
“That would not only satisfy the Philippines, but also ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” he added,
Cuisia said raising the Hague ruling on the controversial and disputed South China Sea will score him (Duterte) positive points with the Filipino people.
In July 2016, the Philippines sealed a historic win against China before the United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal in The Hague, which invalidated Beijing’s sweeping claims to virtually the entire South China Sea.
China, however, has refused to honor the ruling while Duterte opted to shelve the decision and engaged China in bilateral talks.
Aside from the South China Sea issue, Duterte is also expected to discuss the ‘ possible joint exploration for oil and gas between China and Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.
He is also expected to raise the increasing number of Chinese warships seen inside Philippine waters during their meeting.
This is the fifth time that Duterte has visited China. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.