DFA hopes for bilateral talks with China on West Philippine Sea aggression

/ 01:00 PM June 25, 2024

China's actions in West Philippine Sea undermine regional peace - Blinken ayungin aggression

WEAPON IN HAND The Armed Forces of the Philippines, which released this photo on Wednesday, said one of the China Coast Guard members shown here (center) wielded a pickaxe and made threatening gestures in their encounter with Filipino troops on a resupply mission to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on June 17.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it hopes that a bilateral consultation mechanism between Filipino officials and their Chinese counterparts be held in July to discuss China’s recent aggression in the West Philippine Sea, particularly in Ayungin Shoal.

Speaking at the Senate’s hearing on the Ayungin Shoal incident on June 17, DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo said the Philippine government will continue to pursue a “peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international laws.”

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“[W]e have been working hard to bring back China to the table to talk with us to resolve differences on these issues. We have an existing mechanism with China, we call it the bilateral consultation mechanism on [the] South China Sea,” said Manalo.

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READ: China’s actions in West PH Sea not ‘armed attack’ by int’l definition – Año

Despite traversing the way to “peaceful resolutions,” Manalo emphasized that the Philippine government is aware of the incidents that happened and their implications.

“[W]hile we are seeking the approach for a peaceful resolution through international law and diplomacy, of course, we are not blind to the incidents which are happening and we will ensure that whatever confidence building measures we achieve, they will be not at the expense of the promotion of our sovereignty, sovereign rights, as well as our rights and jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea,” said Manalo.

READ: PH Navy sailor loses thumb, others injured in CCG ramming incident

Beijing’s latest aggression in Philippine waters transpired on June 17, when the China Coast Guard towed a Philippine vessel en route to a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre.

The incident also resulted in a Philippine Navy personnel losing a finger.

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TAGS: China, West Philippine Sea

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