All eyes on PH as Duterte arrives in China to discuss sea row
Marje Pelayo • August 29, 2019 • 414
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in China on Wednesday evening (August 28) for a three-day working visit and meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Palace is confident that China will hear the President once he opens up The Hague’s arbitral ruling over the territorial dispute in the West Philippines Sea considering the solid bond that the two countries have already established.
The discussion, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, aims to prevent further escalation of tension and violence at sea due to the decade-long maritime dispute.
“I think China will have an open ear, after all they kept on saying that we’re friends and friends can always talk on anything,” Panelo said.
“Moreover, it’s really about time to talk about it since if the concern is maritime security, and peace in the region, then they really have to talk because this has been a source of some irritants between the two countries as well as other countries,” he added.
Also, included in the agenda of the President’s visit is the proposed joint exploration with China in the WPS under the ’60-40 sharing scheme.’ This means that the Philippines will get 60% of the profit while China will receive the remaining 40%.
“It’s mutually beneficial because both countries are agreeing on a modus vivendi with respect to the exploitation of natural resources,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has accepted the recent apology of the owner of the Chine vessel to the involved Filipino fishermen in the June 9 maritime incident in Recto Bank.
“We accept the recent apology extended by the owner of the Chinese vessel to our fishermen affected by the incident,” Panelo said.
“We likewise welcome the owner’s humility to take responsibility and acknowledgment that compensation must be provided to cover the actual loss,” he added.
Duterte and Xi will meet on Thursday evening (August 29) and shall witness the signing of certain agreements between the two countries.
Joining President Duterte in China are nine of his Cabinet officials to include:
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo
Also included in the President’s delegation are Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero De Vera III and Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
The Department of National Defense (DND) on Sunday (November 3) downplayed reports in certain news outlets that a commercial vessel with Filipino crew aboard, the “Green Aura”, was repeatedly challenged by Chinese Coast Guard vessels near Bajo de Masinloc on September 30, 2019.
In a statement, the DND said, “Since the Green Aura, a Liberian ship, was able to safely reach its intended port of destination unimpeded, we believe that what happened should not be blown out of proportion or sensationalized.”
The defense department further said that an official report of the incident has been forwarded to the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) for its appropriate action.
The DND has also reiterated its call “for all countries to exercise prudence and respect freedom of navigation and passage in the WPS.”
It stressed that Bajo de Masinloc is well within the Philippine EEZ and that the 2016 arbitral ruling declared it as a common fishing area.
The DND also called on the Chinese government to “respect international maritime laws if it wants to earn the respect of the international community.” (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf
Violent clashes ensued as Hong Kong riot police break up protesters with force on Tuesday (October 1) while China celebrates its 70th anniversary National Day.
China celebrated its growing power and confidence with a big display of military hardware and goose-stepping troops in Beijing on Tuesday, overseen by President Xi Jinping who pledged peaceful development on Communist China’s 70th birthday.
The event is the country’s most important of the year as it looks to project its assurance in the face of mounting challenges, including nearly four months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong and an economy-sapping trade war with the United States.
The former British colony was in lockdown on Tuesday with barricades in the city centre, shuttered stores and a heavy police presence. Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is in Beijing for the anniversary celebrations. (REUTERS/EPA)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation are set to fly to China for a working visit in response to the invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
It will be Duterte’s fifth visit to Beijing and his eight meeting with Xi.
The two leaders will meet on August 29 when they will discuss several agreements on education, science and technology, economy and social development.
The President himself also stressed that he would insist the Hague Arbitral Ruling during his meeting with the Chinese President along with other sensitive issues like the code of conduct and joint exploration in the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“We cannot preempt what does the President will discuss in particular regarding the arbitral ruling. So, it will be his call during the meeting with the President with his counterpart,” explained Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre.
The Philippine delegation will also attend a business forum in China in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The President’s itinerary includes a meeting with Vice President Wang Qishan and some relax time in the opening of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Guanzhou on August 31 in support to the Philippines’ GILAS team in their game against Italy.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier announcements, President Duterte will no longer push through with his visit to Fujian province where he was supposed to grace the launching of a university building as tribute to his mother, Soledad.
According to the President’s close in staff, this is not the right time for it.
“But for this particular visit, there was a plan and then the recommendation now is to move it at a later date because it’s more appropriate to be done at a later date and not at this particular time,” noted Robert Borje, the Chief of the Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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