China touts peace over S. China Sea

For­eign min­istry says the Philip­pines agreed to put aside dis­putes to main­tain re­gional sta­bil­ity

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By AN BAIJIE and WANG QINGYUN Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Some coun­tries should “dis­card their un­re­al­is­tic stance” over the South China Sea is­sue, as China and the Philip­pines are mak­ing joint ef­forts to pro­mote the pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment of the sit­u­a­tion, a Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman said on Thurs­day.

Spokesman Lu Kang made the re­marks at a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence, while com­ment­ing on a re­port from Ja­panese me­dia that quoted a Ja­panese gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial as say­ing that dur­ing Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s state visit, Tokyo and Manila have reached con­sen­sus on Wed­nes­day over “re­spect­ing the ar­bi­tral rul­ing” of the South China Sea.

The ar­bi­tra­tion case, uni­lat­er­ally launched by for­mer Philip­pine pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III in 2013, had de­te­ri­o­rated the China-Philip­pine re­la­tion­ship un­til last week when Duterte be­gan a state visit to China to re­store bi­lat­eral ties and en­hance co­op­er­a­tion.

Lu said that dur­ing Duterte’s visit, China and the Philip­pines agreed to set aside dis­putes and en­hance bi­lat­eral ne­go­ti­a­tions over the South China Sea.

“We have no­ticed that Pres­i­dent Duterte’s re­cent re­marks are in ac­cor­dance with the spirit of the con­sen­suses (made dur­ing Duterte’s visit to Bei­jing),” he said.

“If you want to un­der­stand the stance of the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment, it would be worth lis­ten­ing to what the Philip­pine leader said,” Lu added.

On Thurs­day, the fi­nal day of his three-day visit to Ja­pan, Duterte said his coun­try could con­duct joint naval ex­er­cises

We have no­ticed that Pres­i­dent Duterte’s re­cent re­marks are in ac­cor­dance with the spirit of the con­sen­suses.” Lu Kang, For­eign Min­istry spokesman

with Ja­pan, but re­peated there would be no more war games with long­time ally the United States, and again vented his anger to­ward Wash­ing­ton.

Duterte said on Wed­nes­day that dis­putes over the South China Sea should be re­solved peace­fully.

Chen Qinghong, a re­searcher of South­east Asian and Philip­pine stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said Ja­pan, a coun­try which does not have ter­ri­to­rial clams in the South China Sea, has been try­ing to stir up trou­ble in the re­gion, at a time when par­ties in­volved in the is­sue have been work­ing to main­tain re­gional sta­bil­ity.

“Through in­ten­si­fy­ing dis­putes in the re­gion, Ja­pan is at­tempt­ing to sow dis­cord be­tween China and South­east Asian coun­tries, in an at­tempt to ex­pand its in­flu­ence in South­east Asia and try to con­tain China,” Chen said.

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