• China to PH: Let’s talk

    33

    No preconditions in Beijing’s offer to sit down and diffuse tensions
    To diffuse tension over the disputed territories, Beijing is urging Manila to resume bilateral talks and is even offering to share the facilities it is building in the West Philippine Sea.

    Zhao Jianhua, China’s ambassador to Manila, told a small group of journalists on Friday: “We want the Philppines to return to the negotiating table.”

    He added that China would always welcome bilateral talks with the Philippines, even as Manila had abandoned it to pursue its claim with a United Nations arbitral tribunal.

    Zhao stressed that China has no precondition to the resumption of talks, not even the dropping of the arbitration case Manila has lodged with the UN tribunal in The Hague which China does not recognize anyway.

    In 2013, the Philippines questioned China’s nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea, which includes vast areas of the West Philippine Sea.

    Manila anchors its position on the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.

    China has elected not to participate in the arbitration, which Zhao said was his country’s right also under the same international law.

    Zhao explained that China had valid reasons not to participate in international arbitration.

    First, he said that China has a bad history of foreign interference in its domestic affairs. In modern history, Western powers have tried but failed to colonize all of China.

    Second, the envoy said that in China’s experience, bilateral talks have proved to be more effective in settling international disputes. And last, Zhao added that international law was often applied unfairly toward China.

    Of all the available options to China, the ambassador stressed that they would not seek any military solution to the territorial disputes with the Philippines, adding that the 40-year diplomatic relations between Beijing and Manila remain peaceful, friendly and cooperative.

    He acknowledged that problems in the West Philippine Sea was challenging and even contentious, but he said that relations between the Philippines and China should not be held hostage by a single issue.

    Instead of focusing on differences, Zhao suggested that the Philippines and China should instead look at shared intentions, common ground, and strengthening economic ties.

    Even with the disputes, he said that people-to-people relations remain strong. And on the economic front, he added that bilateral trade was robust at $44.4 billion, a growth of 17 percent from the previous report.

    He conceded that bilateral talks were tough on both sides, but that was no reason to abandon peaceful negotiations. He noted that China’s bilateral negotiations with Vietnam took 50 years, with Russia 40 years.

    Even if the Philippines and China do not reach an understanding on the issue soon, continuing peaceful talks was better than all other options, including those that trigger instability in the region, Zhao said.

    Not meant to antagonize
    Referring to China’s ongoing reclamation project on the disputed area, Zhao said, “It’s not meant to antagonize.”

    As proof, he said that China would openthe facility under construction to other countries, including the Philippines, for non-military purposes. But he clarified that China would not allow protestors or people with a political agenda on the island.

    In a text message to The Manila Times, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said, “That offer was made only to deflect international criticism of China’s reclamation work.”

    Zhao, however, insisted that the Chinese facilities would be open, despite earlier media reports of their coast guard ships repelling Filipino fishermen with water cannons from entering the disputed territories. Referring to those encounters at sea, the ambassador blames media for hyping the incidents, and points out that the water cannons were merely warning the fishermen. The Chinese navy did not target people or parts of their boats that could have harmed them, the envoy said.

    In reaction, Jose said, “China’s words and actions do not match. They drive away our fishermen from Scarborough Shoal even when they try to go there to seek shelter during inclement weather.”

    He added, “When China illegally occupied Mischief Reef in 1995, they said the facilities were fishermen’s shelter but [it]later turned out to be a military garrison.”

    Beijing’s right
    Zhao was firm in saying that China had the right to reclaim land in the area, because they consider it as their terrritory.

    Besides China and the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam also have competing claims over islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea.

    The ambassador added that China would not bow to international pressure to stop the reclamation and construction of facilities on it, not even if the United States told them to stop.

    “China will stop [only]when the project is completed,” Zhao said.

    He explained that with the Chinese history of foreign invaders, they were sensitive to other people telling them what to do.

    Zhao conceded that he does not know how to diffuse tension between China and the Philippines and to lure Filipinos back to the negotiation table.

    “There is no silver bullet,” he said, referring to diplomatic row. But for China, the ambassador said that its door would always be open for the Philippines.

    Share.
    loading...
    Loading...

    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    33 Comments

    1. Bruce Leebag on

      How can you be trusted when everything you do is greed to the fullest? Pls give our land back you scambags.

      • Fellow countrymen! Before going to accept the offer of China for a bilateral talk(s), tell them to get out of the Philippine territory first. Let them show their sincerity, if any, along this line. Chinese people are not really good in doing what they say. For all you know, they are trying to deceive the Filipino people because they know some of our leaders and future leaders are corrupt and as such, they are going to do everything in their power to just get what they want – by hook or by crook.

    2. Bruce Leebag on

      Tell it to the marines, you chinese invaders. You occupied mischief reefs when the Americans left their bases in the Phils and took the best opportunities out of that when our gov. Officials are busy on politics too.

      • Blame this predicament our country is now having if not for those senators and a president at that time who sign for the ouster of US bases in our country.. this people deserves no honor they should be sent to the mental hospital for treatment..especially the magnificient 12 all the militants who opposed the US bases in our country .. To hell with them all.

    3. Samuel Belibeth on

      I suggest that our high government officials must set condition that must be met before they agree to China’s suggestion of Talk.

      First:- China must withdraw from our Bajo de Masinloc which they illegally occupied since 2012, and from Panganiban Reef / Mischief reef, and other islands, islets, shoals, reefs and banks located in our Kalayaan Islands group and maritime features located in our 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zone as defined by the UN Conference on Law of Sea.

      Second – That PRC Chinese Coast guard and Chinese PLA Navy must stop patrolling our Kalayaan Islands Group and EEZ area especially Reed bank.

      Third – Then we can have talk with China, together with Japan, and Vietnam. The U.S. Australia, Indonesia, and India, must be included in the talk as observers.

    4. Helen Ramos on

      I would say take the opportunity. Big caution though. Stop sending junior brained diplomats to negotiate with China. And drop the attitude of taking sides. This is a business negotiation and deals must be worked out to ensure we are both satisfied with the results. A joint exploration is fine. Better that than nothing. Take it as a future investment of being able to gain access into huge projects connected with China’s silk road project.

    5. Samuel Belibeth on

      The talks must be with the participation of Vietnam and Japan, with the United States, Australia, and India as observers and advisers to Philippine panels, kasi we. cannot trust these corrupted Pinoy government officials and diplomats.. they may sell our country’s national interest to China.

    6. Emmanuel S. Esber on

      I suggest that our high government officials must set condition that must be met before they agree to China’s suggestion of Talk.

      First: – Tha China must withdraw from our Bajo de Masinloc which they illegally occupied since 2012, and from Panganiban Reef / Mischief reef, and other islands, islets, shoals, reefs and banks located in our Kalayaan Islands group and maritime features located in our 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zone as defined by the UN Conference on Law of Sea.

      Second – That PRC Chinese Coast guard and Chinese PLA Navy must stop patrolling our Kalayaan Islands Group and EEZ area especially Reed bank.

      Third – Then we can have talk with China, together with Japan, and Vietnam. The U.S. Australia, Indonesia, and India, must be included in the talk as observers

    7. Emmanuel S. Esber on

      I suggest that our high government officials must set condition that must be met before they agree to China’s suggestion of Talk. First: First -China must withdraw from our Bajo de Masinloc which they illegally occupied since 2012, and from Panganiban Reef / Mischief reef, and other islands, islets, shoals, reefs and banks located in our Kalayaan Islands group and maritime features located in our 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zone as defined by the UN Conference on Law of Sea. Second – Their PRC Chihines Coast guard and Chinese navy must stop patrolling our Kalayaan Islands Group and EEZ area especially Reed bank. Third – Then we can have talk with China, together with Japan, and Vietnam. The U.S. Australia, Indonesia, and India, must be included in the talk as observers

    8. China’s change of attitude and willingness to offer to share its facilities on the disputed South China Sea is truly a welcome gesture. Now the Philippines and China can talk about going into joint venture in exploring and extracting valuable minerals that both countries can share between them. Quarreling over the disputed sea can only bring havoc and even loss of human lives.

    9. magpakatotoo kayo mga kabayan. noong panahon ni marcos hindi magawa ng china ang ganitong invasion ng ating isla na ngayon ay isa ng isla ang nakuha nila, Unang una may sarili tayong military na nuon ay kasalukuyang pinalalakas ni Presidente marcos ang ating defense. at mula ng umalis din ang US bases sa ating bansa.
      ito ay kasalanan magmula ng mawala ang US bases sa pamumuno nitong si corykong o marahil ay sinasadya nilang pahinain ang military defense after marcos administration. This is the point Aquino administration , wasakin ang buhay ng mga pilipino bilang slaves sa mga hayup ng intsik na ito….

    10. It is meant to deflect international criticism. There is no meaning to talk to them, Let ITLOS, UNCLOS complete the judgement. This is more lasting than bilateral discussion when there is no mechamism to implement. At least ,if ITLOS,UNCLOS decide in favor or against Philippines, the decision comes with finality that can stand in any legal forum globally. Bilateral talks with Beijing doesnt hold any vaue ad they theymselves doesn’t honor international rule. How, can you trust the chinese. Look at copyright infringement they do, they copied everything and claim that its their design.

      The time for bilateral negotiations are over, let the ITLOS, UNCLOS complete the judgment. Dont fall into the trap of Chinese government.

      CHINESE GOVERNMENT DON”T HONOR THEIR WORD, DONT TRUST THEM. PERIOD.

    11. Ronto Caniada on

      Philippine, don’t allow china to share with you the island. It will be a biggggggggggg problem in the philippine.

    12. Gianni Pansensoy on

      GIVE US BACK THE SPRATLY!!!
      Fri, 06/05/2015 – 00:08 — Gianni_Pansensoy

      The victorious invasion of the Spratly Islands is celebrated in every corner of China’s streets and the triumph of illegal occupation through military intimidation over peaceful resolution through diplomacy brought global outrage while the Philippines which is hit the hardest by biggest land-grabbing issue in the history of mankind condemned it but China remains deaf. Amidst the global outcry to halt the Chinese illegitimate island building in the west Philippine Sea yet China continues to play her own plundering game which is against the rules of every civilized society. The dreadful behaviour of China poses a threat to the regional as well as the global peace and stability which might ignite a third world war at the expense of the innocent human beings. The illegitimate land reclamation will be used sooner or later as military purposes of China to counter the containment strategy behind the cloak of the sugar coated words from a senior Chinese official that his country is just performing its global responsibility. China is not accomplishing any global responsibility but disregarding a weak country’s sovereignty through invasion and that is the irony of it.
      Though China is clearly invading the Philippines but Filipinos remain blind, deaf and mute because of the lack of any patriotism or sense of nationalism and that is the saddest thing of all. Perhaps every Filipino spirit is exhausted by political corruption that has been the deadliest social dilemma which demoralized every citizen that eradicates the sense of nationhood. Perhaps, most of the Filipinos are tied to his daily activities for surviving in a day without realizing that the Spratly Islands can save him from hunger and offer him a richer future due to the ample amount of oil and natural gas beneath those beautiful islets. Perhaps, one day, Filipinos will stand up as united entities to resist China’s invasion and perhaps one day, Filipinos might wake up in a real geo-political reality that the presence of the U.S. bases in the Philippines is vital and as a deterrent to Chinese aggression. If U.S. imperialism is evil then we need this necessary evil to protect us, after all, being under the U.S. imperialism is better than the Chinese deception and plundering activities

      • You the nail right on the head, my friend! Where are the pseudo-nationalist, now? They appear to be the mouthpieces of China. Why can’t they shout now against China in the same way that they shouted against America when America was still occupying Subic and Clark bases?

      • You hit the nail right on the head, my friend! Where are the pseudo-nationalist, now? They appear to be the mouthpieces of China. Why can’t they shout now against China in the same way that they shouted against America when America was still occupying Subic and Clark bases?

    13. As is the case Filipinos emotion runs high, if only Filipinos start to read more on international corresponce or broadsheet, it will come to some sense, that although USA is doing some sort of pressure on China’s activity on Spratly Islands, there are other interest that USA will not want to lose with China, something that involves trade relations, as is they are willing to include China into the folds of a trade pack – Asia-Pacific Trade Deal.

      And, if this administration continues to play hardball with China, in the next few years, Philippines will be left holding an empty bag, and would be facing a rather sluggish economy in the region.

      It is not saying that Philippine drops its claim on some islands in Spratly, but Philippines must handle this delicate issue on a strong diplomatic reasoning, without losing our economic interest to trade with China.

    14. ramon de guzman on

      How can you trust a communist govt. who slaughtered 60 million of their own to
      advance their cause? China knows only one rule, destruction!

      • Right, you are, Amigo! Chinese are great deceivers! That’s how they got so many to trust them and, then, afterwards, they take advantage of, or, slaughter them.

    15. Antonio kho on

      China is standing on a shaky ground with the claims. It has to adhere to the rule of law. By its action, it is antagonizing its neighbors and the world, and raising tension in the region. China is running the risks of dissipating its economic gains with this irresponsible actions.

    16. Rizaldy A. Javing on

      China is buying time and would like to appease the growing negative sentiments of the international community. They will feel the pinch when businesses start to pull out and with more than a billion people to feed the destruction will come from within.

      We have to stand our ground and develop our military strength to deter further aggression and reclaim what is legally and historically ours.

    17. Eddie de Leon on

      Before China reaches miltary parity with the United States, the Philippines should seek a return to the time when China wuld dare not do what they are doing now because the Mililtary Bases Agreement between us and the Filipinos and the Americans.

      The Philippines, the USA and Japan should enter a new “sister-country” agreement in which parts of the Philippines,like the coastal half of Zambales, the whole of Batanes, the south western fourth of Palawan, and the Tawi-Tawi islands, as well as the Spatlys are subject to a more postive Military Basing Agreement similar to what Japan and the US have.

    18. mel amarillo on

      O sabi ng Tsikwa siopaoman “Akin loto siopao inyo kitsen haa.. Ooo mosalap! di ba? Kain naa.” But the response was a bored yawn.

    19. The PH must take this opportunity to talk with China. I know it is against Aquino but it is what he should do as the president.

    20. Cannot talk to a barbaric country like China who doesnt believe in international law,they want to talk to buy time for them to complete the artificial island they are building.They are thieves stealing our reefs and our food chain and destroying the environment they are animals doesnt care about anything but themselves greedy and selfies this Chinese people are.P-NOY is right they are the NAZI of Asia.They will start world war III like what Hitler did in Europe.

    21. Let see what the Chinese think of the neighbours:
      Russia:Half breed family
      Bhutan: Beautiful Daughter
      Mongolia: Departed son.
      India: Noisy neighbour
      Pakistan:Very nice neighbour
      Taiwan:Coming home spouse
      Vietnam: Stupid son
      Philippine:Daughter turn into prostitute.
      North Korea: Youngest son
      South Korea: Eldest son
      Singapore: Adopted daughter
      Japan: Apostate son

      Oh dear!

    22. if retarded aquino doesn’t tell the truth, he and obama will regret having in cahoots to what is happening in the west philippine sea.

    23. Yawn. More pathetic communist lies. Typical Chinese. How many times will it take for the Philippine people to NEVER trust this bunch?.God help

    24. China recognizes that they have more to lose than to gain continuing with the dispute in the Spratley Islands.
      PH should not have this bilateral discussion and back down until it sees China’s action to stop reclamation. China has to match its words with the right action.

    25. Amado Aguila on

      If the disputed reefs, islets, and shoals truly belong to the Philippines, then the Philippines should dictate the conditions:
      1. Tell the Chinese to leave.
      2. Encourage joint cooperation for the use of the islands for economic and business purposes only, allowing the Chinese to finance the projects, but for the Philippines to maintain ownership of territories.
      3. Let nature takes its course and both nations leave the islands alone.
      4. When all else fails, use the verfiable claimed territories for drones as target practice making sure no foreign miltary constuctions ever get completed. And let the Chinese know as courtesy warning.

    26. No amount of words will come to amicable understanding because China is a belligerent country and would never accept what the small countries says are theirs (shoals or islets that be). They will by hook or by crook impose that which they claim is their sovereignty. So what further talk could there be expected a welcome settlement? Maybe it is true to what is said by a writer that after all their gains, now is the beginning of the end. Yes now is the time to wait and see what the outcome would be. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open to surprising developments in this part of the globe.

    27. pete gabriel on

      Beware of the Greek bearing gifts. This is nothing but an appeasement and delay tactics. I say Pinoys support the President and stay the course.