China: Marcos admin knows West Philippine Sea 'deal' with Duterte

China: Marcos admin knows WPS ‘deal’ with Duterte, new handling of row

/ 01:43 PM April 18, 2024

China: Marcos admin knows WPS 'deal' with Duterte, new handling of row

FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

MANILA, Philippines — China is now claiming that the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is aware of its deal with former president Rodrigo Duterte on the West Philippine Sea and even agreed to a “new model” in managing Ayungin Shoal.

The Chinese embassy said it “repeatedly” informed the current administration about the so-called gentleman’s agreement, contradicting that there was a “secret deal” as described by Marcos, who said he does not know anything about it.


“Since the current Philippine administration took office, the Chinese side has repeatedly briefed this administration on matters related to the Gentleman’s Agreement, made representations regarding the Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal)  issue, and remained committed to exploring ways of managing the differences through dialogue and consultation with the Philippine side,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement Thursday.


READ: Marcos hits ‘secret deal’ anew: ‘I’m rescinding it’

It also said that the Duterte-China pact is about “managing the situation on the ground, maintaining peace and preventing conflicts.”

“It has nothing to do with our respective sovereign positions. The agreement is no secret in that relevant departments and agencies of our two sides had worked under its guidance, effectively maintaining peace and stability at [Ayungin Shoal] until early February 2023, or seven months into the incumbent Philippine administration,” it said.

Further, the Chinese embassy said that Beijing invited a certain “envoy of the President to China for Special Concerns” to discuss the management of dispute over Ayungin Shoal in September 2023.

READ: Duterte denies he ‘conceded’ anything in WPS deal with China


It did not provide more details regarding that supposed meeting, but the embassy said it “resulted in an internal understanding.”

“A new model for management of the [Ayungin Shoal] situation was also agreed upon by both sides early this year after rounds of serious communications with the Philippine military,” China’s embassy in Manila also said.

“Regrettably, only one round of resupply mission was carried out within the realm of these understandings and arrangements before they were unilaterally abandoned by the Philippine side for no good reason,” it added.

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