News / Asia

China, Philippines Hold Talks After Months of Tensions

Philippine Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Erlinda Basilio, left, greets Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and Special envoy Fu Ying prior to their annual talks in Manila, Oct. 19, 2012.
Philippine Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Erlinda Basilio, left, greets Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and Special envoy Fu Ying prior to their annual talks in Manila, Oct. 19, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Simone Orendain
— Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio and Chinese Vice Minister Fu Ying held talks to try to build stronger bilateral ties. They met formally for the first time in Manila Friday after months of tension over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Seeking better relations

The vice minister also visited with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

"We’re very happy to see the vice minister and we are looking to see what can be done in order to strengthen relations," he said.

Del Rosario told reporters the two sides are seeking more normal dealings in trade, investments, tourism and other areas after relations soured in April.

That was when the Philippines complained that about a dozen Chinese vessels poached endangered species in waters in the South China Sea that Manila claims. This led to ships facing off near Scarborough Shoal, also known as Huangyan Island, some 230 kilometers west of Zambales province in the Philippines.

Del Rosario says the Philippines indicated what it felt was needed to "normalize the situation" between the two countries.

"I think, bottom line, we’ve agreed to disagree and we will work on trying to find out how we can bring our positions closer," he said.

South China Sea disputes

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
x
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have claims to all or parts of the South China Sea. The sea has rich fishing, straddles some heavily traveled shipping lanes and is believed to hold vast oil and gas reserves.

The Philippines stakes its territorial claims on the basis of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, while China bases its claims on centuries-old maps. To resolve the disagreement, the Philippines wants to negotiate a multilateral agreement with input from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. China rejects that approach, saying it prefers to deal with claimant countries one on one.

Vice Minister Fu also paid a courtesy call to President Benigno Aquino. Fu delivered a message from President Hu Jintao saying that China wants to move relations between the two sides forward.

This week President Aquino said he has seen "a little bettering of the situation" with China compared to where relations were at the height of the standoff. He said he was hopeful that relations would further improve by the time China’s new leadership is expected to be in place next March.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid