Del Rosario, Chinese counterpart in 'testy exchange'

Posted at Jul 03 2013 05:52 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2013 01:52 AM

Watch more on iWantTFC

MANILA - There's some progress but little breakthrough in the ASEAN meetings in Brunei dominated by China's territorial disputes with its neighbors including the Philippines.

China has agreed to host talks on a code of conduct in the South China Sea in September but the talks were carefully described in the join ASEAN-China statement as "consultations" rather than "negotiations."

The discussions will also not touch on countries' territorial claims.

During the meetings, Reuters reports that there were verbal exchanges between Manila's top diplomat, Albert del Rosario, and his Chinese counterpart who had accused the Philippines of stoking tensions in the South China Sea.

The report said del Rosario walked into a regional security forum this week to hear his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi reel off a list of complaints against Manila for stirring tensions over the South China Sea.

Del Rosario was not scheduled to speak, but after hearing Wang's speech at Sunday's closed-door meeting in the kingdom of Brunei, he raised his hand and proceeded to rebut China's allegations one by one, according to Philippine diplomats.

The Singapore foreign minister called it "testy exchanges."

ANC TOP STORY, July 3, 2012