PH, China reach consensus on peaceful resolution of South China Sea disputes
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China have reached a consensus on the peaceful resolution of South China Sea disputes.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his counterpart Xi Jinping held an “in-depth” and “candid” discussion on the contested South China Sea during the former’s state visit to Beijing.
The two leaders stressed “that maritime issues do not comprise the sum-total of relations between the two countries and agreed to appropriately manage differences through peaceful means.”
“Both sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace and stability in the region and the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, and reached consensus on the peaceful resolution of disputes on the basis of the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of the Parties in the South China, the United Nations Charter, and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the joint statement of Philippines and China read.
Marcos and Xi likewise agreed that confidence-building measures would help bolster mutual trust, highlighting the importance of the Foreign Ministry Consultations and the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea.
The two leaders also agreed to create a direct communication mechanism between the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office and China’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Philippines and China also recognized the “usefulness of practical cooperation between their coast guards and noted the importance of convening the 4th Joint Coast Guard Committee and agreed to convene it at an early date.”
They also concurred to convene the Annual Defense Security Talks at a “mutually convenient time.”
Marcos and Xi also agreed to cooperate on the “mitigation of marine debris emanating from various sources, and micro plastics, towards the establishment of a cooperative partnership between coastal model cities of the two countries.”
The two leaders likewise concurred to resume oil and gas development negotiations in the West Philippine Sea at “an early date.”
The 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration affirmed the Philippines’ sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea and invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim.
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