Del Rosario visits Brady, meets with Chinese counterpart
MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario flew to Beijing Saturday to visit Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady who had suffered a stroke barely three months into her new posting and amid a territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario was in Beijing on Saturday to visit Ambassador Sonia Brady who is recovering well after a stroke,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez said in a text message.
Hernandez said that Del Rosario also met with his Chinese counterpart Minister Yang Jiechi to discuss issues of “mutual concern.”
“Discussions between Secretary Del Rosario and Minister Yang were productive and issues of mutual concern were discussed in a positive atmosphere,” Hernandez said.
But Hernandez said he had yet to get details of the meeting.
Brady, 71, who was picked to help ease tensions with China, was brought to the hospital Wednesday after she passed out in her residence in Beijing
Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said Saturday that the veteran diplomat is now recovering.
Hernandez said that the “deputy chief of mission takes over the affairs of the embassy and its mandate to strengthen our bilateral relations with China” while Brady is still recovering.
Brady is serving her second tour of duty as ambassador to China having already served as ambassador there from 2006 to 2010. She turned 71 last Wednesday.
Philippine relations with China have deteriorated since April after ships from both countries faced off over the Scarborough Shoal, an outcropping of rocks in the South China Sea.
China claims the shoal along with most of the South China Sea, even up to the coasts of its Asian neighbours, while the Philippines claims the shoal as being well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.
The South China Sea is believed to hold vast mineral resources and are a major shipping route for the region
In early June, Malacañang and the DFA issued orders to Brady to find a peaceful solution to the West Philippine Sea dispute and to employ diplomatic means to resolve the issue.
Brady also has jurisdiction over North Korean and Mongolia. She also held the DFA undersecretary for policy post from 2003 to 2006. With reports from Agence France-Presse and Associated Press
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