The Chinese foreign ministry is voicing its concern that now and even before, Beijing is not closing its door for a dialogue with the Philippines in the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing is always waiting for a talk, contrary to the Manila claims that China already shut permanently the bilateral dialogue.

Hong said “China’s door for dialogue with the Philippines is always open,” the Philippines had abandoned their commitment to resolve the territorial dispute through negotiations.

According to Hong, the reason why bilateral dialogue failed is because the Philippines lied.

“The argument that bilateral dialogue has come to an end ‘ is indeed another lie made up by the Philippines,” Hong said.

He said there are close contact and consultation between Beijing and the Philippines in terms of maritime dispute yet they unilaterally file a case in the international arbitration tribunal and the Philippines never inform us nor gave notice to China. Hong added.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson, Charles Jose said the Philippine government has “exhausted all reasonable effort” to resolve the issue through bilateral consultations as China demands. Talks failed, he said, because of the conditions set by China.

He said, “Sinubukan na natin. And then may impossible pre-condition nga ang China sa bilateral talks na gusto nila. We should recognize ‘yung indisputable sovereignty nila. I think that is an impossible pre-condition that we cannot accept and we need to act immediately.”

The Philippines has already submitted a formal protest to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in reaction to China’s continued construction on disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea and now we are waiting for the tribunal’s resolution this May or June. -Jason E.

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