Malacañang dismisses over again a reported proposition of China for the Philippines to take part in bilateral talks to resolve the two nations’ maritime dispute.
“Philippines’ preference for a rule based and multilateral methodology referring to the ASEAN mechanism, and called on parties to submit and abide on the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and adopt a legally binding code of conduct. ” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said
“Clearly the position of the Philippines, to recognize the principle of ASEAN Centrality in the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN members signed since 2002 and continues to call on developing legally binding code of conduct. ” Coloma said.
The Palace, on the other hand, said bilateral relations remain “strong,” saying that the maritime row does not characterize the two nations’ relationship.
Remained solid and strong, bilateral relations between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China. We celebrate this year the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, “he said.
“As agreed between President Aquino and President Hu Jintao during President Aquino visited China in 2011, relations between the two countries is not based only on the issue of the West Philippine Sea. Continued stimulation of people-to-people programs in many fields such as education and culture, and economic cooperation. ”