China and PHL to start bilateral talks on South China Sea in May

UNTV News and Rescue

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying has confirmed that some officials of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs are invited to come to China in May 2017.

This is the first meeting of high Chinese and Filipino officials  on the bilateral consultation mechanism regarding the maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said it will possibly coincide with President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China to attend the ‘one belt, one road’ event.

The official does not have information on how this bilateral consultation mechanism is different from the ASEAN-China meeting.

“I don’t know the difference between the two but there is a scheduled meeting… there is such a meeting… apparently it’s going to be discussed during that time,” said Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

READ: Philippines never abandoned bilateral talks with China over sea dispute – Sec. Yasay

Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson also said the Chinese coast guard invited their Filipino counterpart to send a delegation to China.

Based on an agreement made in February, high-ranking Philippine government officials and Philippine ships will visit China.

There will be joint exercises and capacity building between the two countries.

In the meeting between President Duterte and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jinhua on Monday, China is determined to achieve a peaceful resolution to the South China Sea maritime dispute.

“They intend to build a bilateral mechanism, mutual trust and maritime cooperation. His excellency also expressed China’s determination to work with ASEAN members in finalizing the code of conduct framework on the South China Sea, sometime early—sometime in the middle of this year,” Abella said. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

WATCH: China and PHL to start bilateral talks on South China Sea in May 2017

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