MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set for another visit to China in late August.
According to presidential spokesperson Atty. Salvador Panelo, the Chief Executive is determined to invoke the Hague ruling to Chinese President Xi Jinping which upholds the Philippines’ rights over the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea.
The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s claim of historic rights to resources within the disputed waters falling within its self-proclaimed demarcation line known as ‘nine-dash line’.
“He said: ‘Remember that I said before that there will be a time when I will invoke that arbitral ruling — this is the time. That’s why I’m going there.’” That’s what he said,” Panelo revealed citing President Duterte’s words.
The Palace said the President believes this is the right time to raise the issue midway before he steps down from office.
Aside from the WPS issue, the two leaders are also expected to discuss plans on the 60-40 joint exploration in the area.
“He’s also interested that 60-40 joint exploration on minerals, oil; pag-uusapan nila yan (they will discuss these issues),” Panelo noted.
Panelo did not mention of the exact date of the President’s visit to China as well as to how the President plans to bring up the WPS issue at the two leaders’ meeting.
But Panelo said the two heads of state may also exchange words regarding the maritime incident that recently happened in Recto or Reed bank. – with details from Rosalie Coz
MANILA, Philippines – Chinese President Xi Jinping has assured President Rodrigo Duterte of assistance amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a telephone conversation, Malacañang said on Friday.
In a statement, Malacañang said the phone call took place on Thursday night, June 11 and lasted for 38 minutes. The call came two days after the Philippines and China marked 45 years of diplomatic ties.
The Palace said that during the phone conversation, Xi promised Duterte that the Philippines would be a “priority” if China successfully develops a vaccine against COVID-19.
This was after Duterte stressed the need for cooperation in the research and development of the vaccine and “underscored the importance of making the vaccine accessible and affordable to all countries.”
“President Xi, on the other hand, assured PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) his country’s commitment to make the vaccine available for all, adding that the Philippines, as a friendly neighbor, would certainly be a priority,” the Palace said.
Malacañang also said that the two leaders discussed both countries’ progress in combating COVID-19 and their strategies to restart their respective economies.
“Both tendered their commitment to work together in fighting COVID-19 as part of international efforts to contain the spread of the virus,” it added.
The Palace also said that the two leaders likewise emphasized the friendship of two countries and the “significant increase in mutual cooperation in wide range of areas.”
China’s state run Xinhua News Agency reported that Xi and Duterte praised each other for their handling of the pandemic.
The agency also reported that Duterte supposedly promised Xi that the Philippines will always be a friend of Chinese people and will not allow the Philippines to be used or engaged in anti-China activities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Embassy did not take kindly Senator Risa Hontiveros’ claims that China owes the Philippines at least P200-B in reparations for the ecological damage it has caused the West Philippines Sea reef system during the past six years of its reclamation activities.
Hontiveros, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, said such amount could be used to help affected families and improve the country’s healthcare system amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Her claims, she said, was based on a study conducted by the University of the Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute.
In response, the Chinese Embassy called such remarks by Hontiveros as ‘ridiculously absurd and irresponsible’ and was made “for the sole purpose of catching eyeballs and for selfish political gains.”
The Embassy added that “China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors across the sea” and so the latter commits “to continue to provide our support and assistance” to the Philippines.
Hontiveros, on the other hand, said: “It is more absurd and irresponsible to see that, indeed, in the middle of a global pandemic, China has continued to aggressively violate Philippine sovereignty in the region.”
Hontiveros added that China cannot claim to be a friendly ‘neighbor across the sea’ when it has continued its land reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea.
“Friends help each other out, not occupy their islands and destroy their reefs,” the lady senator argued.
On Wednesday (April 22), the Philippines filed two diplomatic protest against China – one for its creation of new districts in the disputed territory in the WPS and for its alleged pointing of a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship in Philippine waters, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Teddy Locsin Jr. MNP (with inputs from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard and Chinese Coast Guard on Wednesday conducted joint maritime drills on search and rescue and combating fire at sea in the waters off the Philippine capital.
In a statement, the PCG said participating Filipino and Chinese personnel were given a scenario involving a vessel that caught fire while transiting Manila waters.
In response, the PCG deployed its 44-meter multi-role response vessel 4401, BRP Tubbataha, while the Chinese team dispatched vessel 5204. Both ships were equipped with water cannons used in firefighting assistance.
Five passengers and eight crew aboard the distressed ship were also rescued using rigid hull inflatable boats with rescue swimmers to aid the victims.
The PCG said the drill allows coast guard personnel to exercise interoperability and strengthen their capabilities in responding to such crises.
The joint maritime drills on search and rescue, and combating fire at sea are part of the week-long activities of Chinese Coast Guard’s port call in Manila.
The visit aims to strengthen understanding, mutual trust, and cooperation between the Philippines and China Coast Guard in a bid to promote maritime security and maritime law enforcement amid the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
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