News / Asia

    South China Sea on Agenda as Philippine President Heads to Beijing

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III climbs up the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) as he leads arrival ceremonies at Manila's pier, Philippines, August 23, 2011
    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III climbs up the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) as he leads arrival ceremonies at Manila's pier, Philippines, August 23, 2011
    Simone Orendain

    China’s ambassador in Manila says his country is willing to look into partnerships with the Philippines in disputed parts of the South China Sea. The remarks come a week before the Philippines’ president makes his first state visit to China.

    Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao says the South China Sea will be one issue among many others to be discussed during President Benigno Aquino’s five-day visit to China starting August 30.

    “It’s because the issue has been there for decades and we can’t really expect it to be settled just by this trip," said Liu. "But I know the visit will further enhance the understanding of the two the leaders of the two governments.”   

    Claims in the South China Sea have been a sore spot between the two countries for most of the year. Philippine officials reported at least seven run-ins with Chinese vessels in territory that Manila claims as part of its exclusive economic zone. The U.N.-mandated zone extends some 370 kilometers from a nation’s coastline. China says it made no intrusions because of a centuries-old claim that, it says, gives Beijing sovereignty over the entire South China Sea.

    The sea has major shipping lanes and is believed to hold vast deposits of natural gas and oil. Apart from China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims there.

    The Philippines has been pushing to settle the matter through a U.N. tribunal. China has repeatedly said it prefers to do it through one-on-one talks without any third-party involvement. Throughout the squabble, the Philippines has said joint exploration and cooperation in the disputed areas should be the way forward.

    Ambassador Liu also called for joint efforts during a briefing Wednesday for local and foreign reporters in Manila. He said China has wanted such an effort since 1985.

    “We are ready to have joint exploration and development with the other claiming parties in the whole disputed areas," he said. "Of course we have to reach consensus and have to have an agreement on where and how we can have such cooperation.”

    Liu says China would have to look further into what the Philippines’ idea of such a partnership would be.

    Earlier this week, the Philippines largest and newest military ship docked in Manila. The 115-meter BSP Gergorio Del Pilar’s primary duty will be to safeguard Philippine territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    In a speech Tuesday welcoming the 46-year-old Hamilton class cutter from the United States, Aquino reiterated the country’s resolve to fortify its military defenses.

    He says this modern ship symbolizes his country's newly acquired ability to guard, protect, and if necessary, fight for the interests of his country.

    Philippine officials say the president’s trip to China will focus primarily on boosting trade, economic cooperation and tourism between the two countries.

    The Philippines' assistant foreign secretary told reporters Wednesday that officials are not expecting a confrontational meeting over the disputed territory. But Christine Ortega did say that Aquino will bring up the issue of the West Philippine Sea, which is what the Philippine government calls the South China Sea.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora