China and Philippines hold talks to defuse South China Sea tension

2024-07-03 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China and the Philippines have held talks to defuse the tension in the South China Sea, agreeing to continue to maintain dialogue and consultation to manage conflicts and disputes.

On Tuesday, Vice-Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong and Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Ma Theresa Lazaro jointly held the Ninth Meeting of China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea in Manila, with a candid and constructive exchange of views on the situation in the South China Sea.

China called for the Philippines to work with it to jointly manage and control the situation at Ren'ai Reef, promote the cooling down of the maritime situation and bring bilateral relations back on a steady and upward trajectory.

The Ren'ai Reef has increasingly become a flashpoint in the South China Sea as the Philippines has been trying to send construction materials and even weapons and ammunition to its illegally grounded warship in an attempt to carry out large-scale repairs and reinforcements in order to achieve long-term occupation of Ren'ai Reef.

During the talks, China reaffirms its sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, including Ren'ai Reef, and its adjacent waters, and its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters.

Beijing urged Manila to immediately stop its infringements and provocations at the sea, earnestly abide by the stipulations of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and return to the right track of properly handling differences through dialogue and consultation.

During the meeting, both sides believed that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is in the interests of China and the Philippines and is also the common goal of countries in the region.

They also agreed to continue to maintain dialogue and consultation through BCM and other mechanisms to manage conflicts and differences.

China and the Philippines launched the consultative meeting in 2017 to promote the peaceful management of disputes in the South China Sea. Last time, the two sides met for consultation in Shanghai in January.

The two sides at the meeting also exchanged views on improving maritime-related communication mechanisms, promoting dialogue between the coast guard of the two countries, and advancing cooperation in marine science and technology and environmental protection.

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