Don't tell us what to do, PH tells countries on sea dispute

Alan Cayetano Foreign Secretary of the Philippines.--AFP

Alan Cayetano Foreign Secretary of the Philippines.--AFP

The ministers expressed serious concerns over maritime disputes in the South China Sea (SCS).

Just as their agreement was being hailed as a milestone for two sides that have long failed to see eye to eye, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi set conditions for the talks to proceed.

However, an initial draft of the statement this year obtained by the media omitted that provision.

After a typhoon washed out the bridge in October past year, China began to undertake reclamation anew on the southern end of North Island and "built a retaining wall around the [2.73 hectares] of new land to prevent further erosion". "We're going forward", he said.

"So there were three issues that we agreed on the words land reclamation", he said.

He added that the harder stance of President Benigno Aquino III's administration against China was called for because land reclamation was still taking place.

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As a sign of China and ASEAN relations, the trade hit the United States dollars 450 billion mark last year and the flight grew to 2,700 last year connecting China to the 10 ASEAN nations.

Cayetano reiterated that while they have the same goals as the previous administration, they are using a different strategy.

A region where rule of law prevails and where there is mutual respect and understanding for each nation. "How can we do that without also understanding them?"

Duterte made the comment as he welcomed Ri during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Asean at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Beijing claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to hold a wealth of untapped oil and gas deposits.

Their trade amounted to US$452.2bil (RM1.9 trililon) previous year, and now about 2,700 flights connect China and the 10 countries in every week.

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"China already said, if you talk about the arbitration award, there's no talks". Originally reefs, additional dumping of sand and other materials have transformed them in to the islands of Subi, Mischief, and Fiery Cross - all of which are now under China's control and subject to increased military activity.

Critics and even other nations, however, may have reservations.

His father, Yohei Kono, also a former foreign minister, is widely known for the statement he issued under his name as chief Cabinet secretary in 1993.

While it has verbally acknowledged a need to establish operating procedures in the area, it insists that these codes be non-legally binding. That means, in China's mind, no longer allowing the U.S. to station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) antimissile system on its soil.

Wang told a news conference in Manila that those conditions include noninterference by "outside parties", apparently referring to the United States, which Beijing has frequently accused of meddling in what it says is an Asian dispute that should be resolved only by the countries involved.

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