Duterte: South China Sea rift won't affect friendly ties between Philippines and Beijing

his satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows Chinese vessels anchored the Whitsun Reef located in the disputed South China Sea. on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The United States said Tuesday it’s backing the Philippines in a new standoff with Beijing in the disputed South China Sea, where Manila has asked a Chinese fishing flotilla to leave a reef. China ignored the call, insisting it owns the offshore territory. - AP

MANILA, April 6 (dpa): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday his country's dispute with Beijing over activity in the South China Sea will not affect "bilateral friendly relations."

"We will continue to resolve the issues on [the Whitsun Reef] through diplomatic channels and through peaceful means," Duterte said in a statement.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last week asked China to withdraw ships that have been moored on the Whitsun Reef since early March.

The Philippines says the reef sits in its exclusive economic zone, while China says the waters are their traditional fishing grounds.

"Whatever differences we have with China will not define our bilateral relations and will not be an obstacle to the overall positive trajectory of our bilateral friendly relations and our deepening cooperation on pandemic response including vaccine cooperation and in post-pandemic economic recovery," Duterte said.

Duterte also expressed thanks to China for its donation of 1 million Covid-19 vaccines in March.

The Philippines is banking on China and other countries for the supply of vaccines.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military-capable facilities over reefs and outcrops in the area.

Aside from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims to the area, which is believed to be rich in marine and mineral resources. - dpa
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Aseanplus News

Chinese papers go black in mourning for late leader Jiang Zemin
Rosmah's RM7mil money laundering and tax evasion case to go on trial next May
Beijing sees record Covid cases as China vows small easing steps
World Vision launches baby-friendly initiative in Siem Reap
Asian stocks join global rally and dollar drops on Fed rate joy
Fourth ‘lieutenant’ arrested as Thailand tightens noose on Chinese triad
Marcos-led Philippines plays both sides in diplomatic tug of war with US and China
Singapore, New York top 'world's costliest city' survey
Sabah successfully reclaims RM79.41mil in oil and gas sales tax arrears, say Masidi
Indonesians jailed for torture in oil palm plantation slavery case

Others Also Read