PH, China reach initial agreements involving sea dispute


Posted at Oct 22 2016 08:31 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that China and the Philippines have reached certain agreements in the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute.

Duterte made the announcement in a press conference following his arrival from his state visit to Brunei and China.

"In all meetings, we had productive and extensive discussions on the full range of Chinese-Philippine relations, from trade and investments, to infrastructure and tourism, and to science and technology and health," Duterte said.

He added that formal lines of communication between the two countries have been opened.

"To realize the vision of a deeper and more meaningful engagement, we have opened formal lines of communications between our government and agreed on the full resumption of the regular bilateral consultations mechanisms which were put on hold for several years," he said.

Duterte said China and the Philippines have agreed to pursue peaceful negotiations to resolve the sea dispute.

"With security and stability recognized as necessary conditions for growth, the Philippines and China affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, freedom of navigation and overflight in South China Sea," Duterte said.

"We acknowledged the need to address disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law. We also agreed to continue discussions on confidence-building measures, including a bilateral consultation mechanism to discuss immediate issues of concern in South China Sea.," he added.

However, there was no mention of the Hague tribunal ruling where the panel ruled in favor of the Philippines in the sea dispute.