Sotto may raise West PH Sea issue with Chinese envoy during informal meeting | Global News

Sotto may raise West PH Sea issue with Chinese envoy during informal meeting

/ 12:53 PM May 06, 2021
Duterte wants 'peaceful resolution' to rift over Julian Felipe Reef – Palace

(FILE) Around 220 Chinese militia vessels were spotted moored at Julian Felipe Reef (Whitsun) in the West Philippine Sea last March 7, 2021. (NTF WPS)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III may bring up the recent issues on the West Philippine Sea with China’s top diplomat in Manila when the two get together for an informal meeting next week.

Sotto told reporters in an online interview on Thursday that a “common friend” had invited him and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian for an “informal meeting.”

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“I think Tuesday or Wednesday, I’m meeting with the ambassador of China. In my own little way I can help to find out what we can do to better foster friendly relationships with them,” Sotto said.

“Malamang mapagusapan. I may need not bring it up, I’m sure he won’t bring it up also. If not, then I’ll ask him about…’Ano ba pare? Paano ba natin maaayos ‘tong bakuran natin?’” he added when asked if the presence of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea will be discussed in his meeting with the Chinese diplomat.

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Recently, the Philippine Coast Guard said its maritime patrols drove away Chinese vessels spotted in Sabina Shoal, which is within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The Philippines earlier bolstered its presence in its EEZ after China parked hundreds of militia vessels at Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef in March.

The presence of these vessels in the said reef and other parts of the West Philippine Sea triggered numerous diplomatic protests against Beijing.

According to Sotto, the two countries can always seek better relations with each other by trying to resolve disputes like how neighbors would try to work out their problems.

“We can always try for better relations and then, kaibigan natin, kapitbahay mo, sabihin mo sa kapitbahay mo ‘lumalampas yung ano mo, lampas dito sa bakod namin e, baka pwedeng diyan na lang’,” he said.

/MUF
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TAGS: Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, Features, Global Nation, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, West Philippine Sea
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