An unexpected call from the Chinese President Xi Jinping to have a “friendly consultation and negotiation” to resolve the maritime row in West Philippine Sea has been bluntly rejected by the Philippines.
Malacañang said the Philippines will stay firm in its position on the territorial sea dispute with China as it anticipates this May or June the decision of the international arbitral tribunal handling Manila’s case at the Hague.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also said we are waiting for the tribunal’s decision at the Hague versus China.
“Likewise, a friendly consultation and negotiation or any bilateral talks between the two countries would not be easy in light of the Philippines’ staunch position in favor of a more binding Code of Conduct among various claimants,” He said.
“The positions of the two countries may not meet because the Philippines adheres to “Asean centrality,” which involves many nations” Coloma Added. – Carl E.