PH, China mounting talks over ‘sea of cooperation’

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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President Roderigo Duterte (leftmost) admires the family portrait gifted by Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua after their meeting at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City on Monday. PCOO

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MANILA – The Philippines and the People’s Republic of China are scheduled to have “bilateral mechanism” talks over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute this coming May.

“Through this bilateral mechanism, mutual trust and maritime cooperation will be forged and misunderstandings will be avoided,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Tuesday said.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhu, Abella said, is determined to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states in finalizing the maritime code of conduct by middle of the year.

Last Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte met with Zhao in Davao City.

Zhao has also expressed readiness to implement the agreed memorandum of agreement between the Philippine Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard, the Malacanang official said.

“He looks forward to the PH Coast Guard delegation’s visit to China to hammer out actions, activities and new engagements to ensure that WPS is a sea of cooperation,” according to him.

Abella shared that defense cooperation and capacity building, infrastructure projects financing, antipoverty and anti-illegal drugs campaign were also discussed between the two sides.


Duterte is expected to return to China in May for the One Belt One Road Summit in Beijing./PN




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