China-Philippines relations face serious difficulty: FM spokesperson

2023-12-22 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo at the request of the Philippines on Wednesday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Thursday.

The spokesperson said that China-Philippines relations face serious difficulty and the root cause lies in the Philippines’ change of policy and position, refusing to honor its commitment and repeated provocations that undermine China’s legitimate and lawful rights and interests. "The bilateral relationship is now at a crossroads. Where it will go depends on what choice will be made. The Philippines must be very prudent about it."

The spokesperson said "When it comes to maritime disputes with our neighbors, China’s position is consistent and clear without any change. Our commitment to properly managing disputes through dialogue and consultation has not changed. Our willingness to work with the Philippines to implement the previously reached understandings has not changed. Our policy of working with the Philippines and other ASEAN countries to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea has not changed. Last but not least, our resolve to safeguard our sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests has not changed and will not change."

China hopes the Philippines will decide rationally, follow the effective way for neighbors to get along with each other and work with China to properly handle and manage the situation at sea, Wang said.

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