MANILA, Philippines - Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Tuesday he and his Chinese counterpart agreed not to worsen tensions over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), amid reports that China is planning to open disputed areas to tourism.
Gazmin told reporters it would be a security concern for the Philippines if China pushes through with the plan.
He said, however, that he was given assurances by China's defense minister.
"Napag-usapan naming huwag gagawa ng aksyon para hindi lumaki ang gulo," Gazmin said.
He added that the Philippines will keep its lines of communication with China open.
"Tuloy ang usapan para maayos natin ang problema sa maayos na paraan," he said.