President Benigno Aquino 3rd will keep China’s creeping occupation of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) burning on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November, an official of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.
According to DFA spokesman Charles Jose, they expect to get requests for bilateral meetings with the President as they are also preparing to make similar requests with some of the heads of states who are attending the summit to be hosted by the Philippines.
“Definitely, there will be bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Manila in November,” he said.
Jose however, clarified that the maritime and territorial disputes between China and APEC-member countries such as the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam will not be in the summit agenda.
“APEC … it’s an economic forum. This is a political issue. That is the agreement in APEC,” Jose said.
“In appropriate forums, definitely we take this before the UN [United Nations] recently and in Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations]. But definitely, it won’t be discussed in APEC,” he added.