Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomePress ReleasePhilippines to Hold Bilateral Talks with China on Sea Issues

Philippines to Hold Bilateral Talks with China on Sea Issues

Ahead of the upcoming Bilateral Consultative Mechanism on the South China Sea, Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro emphasized the value of diplomacy in resolving concerns with China on behalf of Philippine officials.

The Philippines will be hosting the next meeting, but the date has not yet been announced.

“Secretary Teodoro mentioned the need for peaceful means. Yes, that is always our approach,” Lazaro said during a press conference held at the Palace.

She mentioned the Bilateral Consultative structure on the South China Sea with China, saying, “We are actively engaging in diplomatic efforts. We have had a mechanism in place for several years.”

During their most recent meeting, which took place in Shanghai on January 17, the parties worked on “confidence-building measures,” according to Lazaro.

Speaker Martin Romualdez asked China to “reduce its aggressive actions,” expressing doubts about a speedy resolution to the problem.

“We should lower the tension because we are concerned about China’s aggressive behavior,” he stated during a press briefing.

The West Philippine Sea conflict is unlikely to be resolved peacefully, according to Romualdez, hence both nations should pursue a “peaceful resolution.”

“Let us not allow this disagreement in the West Philippine Sea to define the entire relationship between China and the Philippines,” he added.

In the meantime, China’s operations and the US military buildup in the nation were denounced by the insurgent group Anakbayan.

“China’s attempt to replace the United States as the dominant power in the Indo-Pacific has caused great harm to our people,” he said.

According to the group, US participation is harmful as well. “The US has kept the Philippines as its neo-colony, benefiting from unfair economic and political agreements,” Anakbayan stated.

“Now, feeling threatened by China’s rise, the US aims to maintain its dominance in the Indo-Pacific and use the Philippines as its forward base for war,” stated the organization.

“It is time to demilitarize the West Philippine Sea. We must not allow either China or the US to use our sovereign waters for their rivalry,” Anakbayan stated.

The US shouldn’t have any influence over the Philippines, according to Representative France Castro of the ACT Teachers party list.

“The US government’s provocations are primarily responsible for escalating tensions in the West Philippine Sea,” she explained.

“While we condemn China’s lies and bullying in our maritime territories, we must also be cautious about falling into the US narrative and their provocations,” she stated.

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