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Friday, 22 December 2023 15:52

China and the Philippines Agree to Resolve Tensions in the South China Sea Through Dialogue

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A Filipino supply boat sails near a Chinese Coast Guard ship in the South China Sea on Wednesday (04/10/2023). (Reuters/Adrian Portugal)

 

Last week, there was a serious incident involving Chinese and Filipino ships. Chinese Coast Guard ships repeatedly fired water cannons to block Philippine ships carrying supplies to the Sierra Madre. It is a transport ship said to have been deliberately sunk to become a military outpost and occupied by Philippine marines in the South China Sea, an area overlapping to be claimed by China, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Following the incident, Filipino president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr said that a paradigm shift was needed in the way his country handled the South China Sea issue as diplomatic efforts with China were heading in a bad direction.

 

President Ferdinand Marcos said the Philippines would continue to hold talks with its partners in the Indo-Pacific region and take a joint stance regarding their responsibilities in the West Philippine Sea.

 

This statement by the President of the Philippines shows that the situation is getting worse in relations between the two countries regarding the South China Sea.

 

The incident that occurred last week has the potential to drag the two countries into open conflict if they do not open up to dialogue. Fortunately, the two countries finally agreed to keep prioritizing dialogue in resolving the South China Sea dispute. Philippine Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a telephone conversation on Wednesday (20/12/2023) agreed to prioritize dialogue. Manalo said on Thursday (21/12/2023) that he and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi noted the importance of dialogue in addressing the South China Sea issue.

 

During the conversation, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, as quoted by Channel News Asia (21/12/2023) reminded the Philippines to overcome what China considers "serious difficulties" in relations between the two countries regarding the South China Sea, through dialogue. Recently, incidents between ships from both sides have increased. Wang told Enrique Manalo that if the Philippines misjudges or colludes with “ill-intentioned” external forces in the disputed waters, China will defend its rights and respond firmly.

 

From these remarks, it is clear that there are problems in relations between the two countries. However, it is hoped that neither the Philippines nor China will renege on their commitment to prioritize dialogue in resolving disputes.

Read 200 times Last modified on Friday, 22 December 2023 16:01