MANILA — China on Tuesday said issues pertaining to the South China Sea disputes must be resolved through "dialogue and negotiation," recalling an alleged "consensus" with the Philippines "to properly and peacefully handle the issue."
Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying also called for a stop to what Beijing described as efforts to "stir up trouble" in the South China Sea when asked about a reported plan of the Philippine military to set up a logistics hub.
"Our two countries have reached the consensus to properly and peacefully handle the issue through dialogue and negotiation... We hope certain individuals will refrain from stirring up trouble on this issue," Hua said in her May 10 regular press conference in Beijing.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana reportedly said they plan to turn Pag-asa Island into a logistics hub with the aim of driving away Chinese maritime militia and other Chinese vessels from the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Beijing has continued to ignore a UN-backed tribunal ruling while Duterte sought closer ties with China for his administration's infrastructure projects.
Duterte recently blamed the administration of his predecessor Benigno Aquino III for China's seizure of parts of the resource-rich waterway.
He last week also challenged former Supreme Court senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to a debate that the former magistrate accepted and from which Duterte later backed out.
Carpio is a long-time advocate of the Philippines' sovereignty and a vocal critic of what he calls China's "creeping invasion."
—With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News