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Lorenzana: PH can trust China but must be cautious

ON MARITIME DISPUTE
/ 12:35 AM September 02, 2019
Delfin Lorenzana

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) (File photo by FRANCES MANGOSING / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines can trust China to abide by its pronouncements on issues concerning the West Philippine Sea, but it must also be cautious, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday

In a short message to reporters, Lorenzana said: “Of course we trust China on their words. It is a regional power and I [see] no reason that it will renege on any agreements.”

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“But at this stage, our governments have agreed to disagree civilly on the West Philippine Sea issue while we manage our differences,” he pointed out.

Lorenzana stressed that relationship between China and the Philippines “is not circumscribed by the West Philippine Sea issue alone.”

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“There are far larger Issues that we agree upon that benefit both our peoples like: trade, tourism, people to people exchanges, etcetera,” he said.

“The devil, as they say, is in the details later on when we go on joint development of the resources in the West Philippine Sea,” he pointed out.

He concluded: “Let us trust but we must also be cautious.”

China has agreed to refrain from any provocative action that would create conflict in the disputed areas of the South China Sea.

China and the Philippines have also agreed to form working groups and a steering committee, composed of the Philippine and Chinese foreign and energy ministers, to explore commercial and gas agreements in the West Philippine Sea.

/atm

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TAGS: Delfin Lorenzana, Hague ruling, Maritime Dispute, PCA, Permanent Court of Arbitration, PH-China Relations, West Philippine Sea
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