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Philippines never abandoned bilateral talks with China over sea dispute – Sec. Yasay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said some of his counterparts expressed concern over the alleged continued militarization in the West Philippine Sea.

Secretary Yasay said, “On the South China Sea, a number of ministers expressed concern over recent developments and escalation of activity in the area which may further raise tensions and erode trust and confidence in the region.”

Thus, some of the foreign ministers believe it is important for the Philippines to continue having dialogues with China to resolve the territorial dispute in the region.

WATCH: Duterte administration expected to maintain security, peace in West Philippine Sea

During the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Foreign Ministers Retreat on Boracay Island on Tuesday, Yasay said they are focusing now on bigger aspects of ASEAN integration since discussions on the West Philippine Sea dispute remain on deadlock.

Yasay added,“Since the decision of our dispute in the South China Sea is not the sum total of our relationship with China, we set it aside. We started to pursue the bigger aspects of our relationship which is promoting trade, promoting investments and pursuing to the hilt those areas where we have a convergence of natural interest to make sure that we could come up with something most beneficial mutually for the parties concerned.”

Despite this, the foreign ministers still insist on the importance of resolving the issue through peaceful means and according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

WATCH: Yasay clarifies Duterte’s statement on cutting military exercises with the US

Sec. Yasay said the Philippines is ready to have bilateral talks with China, which shall be conducted at the right time.

“The arbitral tribunal ruling in July 12, 2016 is something that we will have to pursue with China through bilateral engagements and we have not abandoned that.”

Meanwhile, ASEAN senior officials together with representatives from the Philippines will have a meeting in the United States in May.

Sec. Yasay said he hopes to personally talk with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during the said meeting.

“I would hope that this could be done as soon as possible. It would be very important for us as I am sure it will be important for the United States in our desire to forge closer ties and closer relationships with the two countries.” — Jun Soriao, UNTV News & Rescue

WATCH: Cancellation of US aid over alleged human rights issues will not affect PH war on illegal drugs – Sec. Yasay

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Malacañang: China bombers in South China Sea ‘a serious concern’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018

 

 

West Philippine Sea

 

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expressed “serious concern” over reports that Chinese H-6K bomber aircraft are now stationed in the disputed islands in the South China Sea although it admitted that it has no verified information yet on the matter.

Despite this, Malacañang insists the ASEAN’s call to claimant countries in the South China Sea to stop their respective activities in the disputed territory to avoid further escalation of tension and maintain regional peace.

“We take note of the reports that appeared and we express our serious concerns anew on its impact on constructive efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region,” announced Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, May 21.

Last weekend, President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech said he considers having a joint exploration and development in the disputed islands rather than waging war with China.

“We don’t have to fight. We can divide this in a joint development, a joint exploration. Then we’ll give you a bigger share rather than fight,” the President said in Cebuano.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano recently had a meeting with members of the U.S. Asia Pacific Command. Roque said such move was to show that the Philippines is giving high importance to its alliance with the US while opening doors to other countries like China, Russia, Australia, and Japan.

For its part, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assures the Filipino citizens that it is doing its best to constantly monitor the situation and to protect the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.

In fact, the Philippine government is planning to raise the issue of militarization in the area in the upcoming Bilateral Consultative Mechanism consultations with China.

Amid reports, Magdalo Party List Rep Gary Alejano sees a diplomatic protest against China as a way to make known to the global community the growing concern over China’s militarization in the South China Sea.

“If we allow militarization there, na tayo di nagre-raise ng (and we do not raise our) concern, then we are a part of the aggressive militarization of China. The Philippines should file a diplomatic protest because when you file a diplomatic protest, it’s saying to the whole world that we are concerned about the militarization, “ Alejano said. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte says waging war with China a ‘winless’ battle

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte talked tough about South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) during a media interview in Malacañang, Wednesday, May 16.

The President said it is pointless to question China’s military buildup in the disputed territory because infrastructures and defense equipment are already in place.

“There is an airport. There are businesses installed. There are military equipment already in place so what’s the point of questioning whether the planes there land or not? There’s an airstrip. Hindi naman mag-landing iyan doon sa bato. Maganda ang airstrip nila,” the President said.

Mr. Duterte said that even though he can declare war with China, he is not willing to risk his men in a “winless” battle.

“I can declare war on China tonight. At sino ang magpunta? Sundalo ko? Pulis ko? Mamatay lang lahat iyan. Why will I go to war for a battle that I cannot win? Para akong g***,” he said.

President Duterte said he is willing to discuss why he allow ”things to just stay there” but not at this time. Still, he reiterated that it is useless to fight China when it is impossible to dismantle the structures in the area.

“We have to take into account, but it would take a longer time to do that. Pero kung… Busy ako ngayon. I will discuss with you geopolitics and why I allow things to just stay there. Hindi mo na rin mapaalis. Bakit mo awayin?” the President said.

Mr. Duterte blamed the Aquino administration for not taking action despite filing and winning the Arbitration case against China.

“There was sufficient time for him to stop. Siya iyong nag-demanda. Bakit hindi sila pumunta doon?” he said.

The UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines’s claim to exclusive sovereign rights over the South China Sea. The decision was announced on July 12, 2016, days after President Duterte assumed presidency.

Despite justifying diplomacy with China, President Duterte vowed to insist the arbitral ruling during his term.

“In front of my entire Cabinet, I said that during my term I will insist and mention arbitral ruling,” the President assured. – Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping in second surprise visit to China

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

People watch a TV news report about the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited China this week and met President Xi Jinping, their second encounter in two months amid warming ties between the Cold War allies.

Their talks in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian comes as tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons eases ahead of what would be a historic meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump, as soon as this month, according to the White House.

Kim and Xi discussed relations between their two countries as well as “major issues of common concern”, and Kim restated Pyongyang’s desire to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

Shortly after the summit was reported, Trump said on Twitter he would speak to Xi by phone about North Korea, where he said: “relationships and trust are building”. — Reuters

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