Manalo, Canada foreign minister to tackle West Philippine Sea issue | Global News

Manalo, Canada foreign minister to tackle West Philippine Sea issue

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 10:30 PM May 16, 2023
Melanie Joly. STORY: Manalo, Canada foreign minister to tackle West Philippine Sea issue

Canada’ Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly. (Photo from her Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo will discuss with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly developments in the disputed West Philippine Sea during the latter’s visit to Manila.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said Joly will be in the Philippines from May 18 to 21, which nearly coincides with the visit of Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong from May 16 to 19.

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Manalo and Joly will meet on Friday to boost bilateral ties and “sustain high-level engagements” between the countries.

“Secretary Manalo is expected to bring up enhanced trade and investment between the two nations, developments in the West Philippine Sea, and cooperation in the energy, defense, and maritime sectors, among others. They are also expected to exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual concern, including developments in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe,” the DFA said in a statement.

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Joly will be the fourth Cabinet Minister from Canada to visit the Philippines under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

As quoted by the DFA, Manalo said Joly’s visit is a way for the Philippines and Canada “to deepen our two countries’ collaboration based on our shared values, including democracy and adherence to a rules-based international order.”

“The Philippines and Canada’s continued cooperation shows how partnerships based on those shared values can withstand numerous challenges and obstacles. I look forward to discussing matters of mutual interest and benefit to our countries and I am optimistic that this meeting can build on our nations’ rich and storied friendship,” he said.

The Manalo-Joly meeting will take place the backdrop of continuous harassment and aggression of Chinese forces in the West Philippine Sea.

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Canada is among the Philippines’ foreign backers in calling out China’s unrelenting encroachment in the contested waters.

Beijing has sweeping claims in nearly the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. But its historic claims were junked in 2016 by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The Asian giant, however, has repeatedly and blatantly disregarded the United Nations-backed tribunal’s landmark ruling as it continues to push back against calls for collective adherence to the PCA decision.

RELATED STORIES

UK, Canada, Australia rally behind PH in WPS

PH under Bongbong Marcos: Reviving ties with US but not closing doors to China

Aggression in West PH Sea: China’s maritime ‘Great Wall’ plan

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo, maritime dispute, Mélanie Joly, PH-Canada relations, PH-China Relations, West Philippine Sea
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