Palace says PH-China ties enjoying ‘renaissance’ under Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine-China ties is “enjoying a renaissance” under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Tuesday as the two countries mark the 45th year of diplomatic relations.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government is hoping that this warming ties may lead to mutual prosperity and to the resolution of “disputes” between the two nations.
“(The) Philippine-Chinese relation is enjoying a renaissance under the administration of President Duterte and we hope that this renaissance will lead to better relations in resolving all the disputes that we have between the two countries, increased economic ties, increased prosperity for both Philippines and China,” Roque said in a televised press briefing in Malacañang.
The Philippines and China have been locked in a maritime dispute over the heavily-contested territories on the West Philippine Sea.
China has been pushing for its expansive claims in the strategic waterway, refusing to recognize the 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that invalidated its ambitious nine-dash line feature which owns virtually the entire body of water.
Meanwhile, Duterte has chosen to shelve the PCA ruling in exchange for Chinese economic perks to help fund his administration’s infrastructure projects even as the Asian powerhouse continues its military activities within the Philippine territory.
Tuesday also marks the first year since the Filipino fishing boat FB GemVer was rammed and sank by a Chinese trawler near the resource-rich Recto (Reed) Bank.
The incident left 22 Filipino fishermen afloat the open sea for hours before Vietnamese fishermen rescued them. To date, justice remained elusive for the fishermen.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. acknowledged that the “warm ties” between Manila and Beijing “has not cooled” and even bloomed into a “new partnership for mutual profit and progress.”
“The feeling of warm friendship has not cooled, let alone been lost, not even in our differences. But under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, that old friendship has flowered into a new partnership for mutual profit and progress,” he said.
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