China says its ‘door of dialogue’ remains open to PH amid West PH Sea row

China says its ‘door of dialogue’ remains open to PH amid West PH Sea row

/ 01:37 PM December 26, 2023

FILE PHOTO: Philippines resupply mission in the South China Sea

FILE PHOTO: A Philippine supply boat sails near a Chinese Coast Guard ship during a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed at a grounded warship in the South China Sea, October 4, 2023. REUTERS/Adrian Portugal/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — China is not closing its doors to the possibility of a negotiation with the Philippines on issues regarding the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“China’s door of dialogue remains open,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning in a regular press briefing on Monday, Dec. 25, the transcript of which was sent to the media on Tuesday.


“We are ready to work with the Philippines to properly handle maritime issues through negotiation and consultation,” Mao added. “We hope the Philippines will stop pursuing the wrong course at once.”


However, Mao reiterated China’s position that the Philippines is “making provocations” even as the latter conducts its maritime operation inside its exclusive economic zone.

READ: PH actions in South China Sea ‘extremely dangerous’ – Chinese state media

“For months, the Philippines has been making provocations on Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal) and other issues and drawing forces outside the region into those issues. China is compelled under those circumstances to take necessary measures to firmly respond to it,” he said.

Beijing used water cannons and what Manila deems as “dangerous maneuvers” against its vessels during the regular resupply mission in a military outpost in Ayungin Shoal.

READ: PH takes proactive tack to defend rights in WPS – Teodoro

China asserts sovereignty in almost the entire South China Sea, including the WPS, through its now ten-dash line which used to be a nine dash line.

In 2013, the Philippines questioned China’s nine-dash line before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, but an international tribunal ruling issued in 2016 effectively dismissed Beijing’s sweeping demarcation while ruling heavily in favor of Manila.

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TAGS: China, West Philippine Sea

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