Forget trial, let’s sit down and talk - China

A day before the Philippines will present its case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, China’s ambassador said his country will always keep the door open for bilateral talks. “I think the best [solution] is to sit down bilaterally to talk,” GMA News quoted Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua as telling reporters at his official residence on the occasion of his government’s donation of books to the country’s national library. “We need to resume our bilateral negotiations without condition.



“I think this is the best way that we can discuss how to peacefully settle these disputes. “Our door for bilateral consultation and negotiation is still open and will be open forever,” he added. China, the Philippines, and several members of the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) nations are currently embroiled in a dispute over the resource-rich West Philippine Sea which is also one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. China claims almost the entire area in whole, putting it at odds with its smaller neighbors. It has also refused to recognize international arbitration or multi-party talks, preferring instead to negotiate on a one-to-one basis with its rival claimants. On the other hand, the Philippines has consistently rejected China’s call for two-way talks, saying Beijing will just use its economic and military might at Manila’s expense. No to War On the same occasion, Zhao dismissed claims China would go to war with the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea. “What I would like to emphasize is that we do not wish to define these disputes as military issues because they are political and diplomatic issues,” he said. “They require a political and diplomatic solution.” He added it will never be China’s policy to wage war against its smaller neighbor. “Peaceful means, bilateral talks,” he pointed out.
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