China hopes Philippines meets it halfway on maritime situation
China hopes the Philippines will meet it halfway as soon as possible to find an effective way to manage the maritime situation in the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday, after the recent Ren'ai Jiao clash.
China has repeatedly stated that it is willing to properly handle existing differences with the Philippines through bilateral dialogue, Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said during his visit to Singapore and Malaysia.
He voiced the hope that the Philippine side will abide by the consensus reached in the past, cherish the mutual trust accumulated through the improvement in bilateral relations, and meet China halfway to find a viable way to manage the maritime situation appropriately.
Wang said that over the years, under the joint efforts of China and ASEAN, the situation in the South China Sea has been stable overall and provided a good environment for their respective development.
However, Wang said the United States and other forces wish nothing but chaos in the South China Sea so as to gain from the muddied waters. To serve their own geopolitical strategy, the U.S. and some other forces have used the Ren'ai Jiao issue to fan the flames, sow discord between China and the Philippines, stoke confrontation, and jeopardize the peace and tranquility of the South China Sea, he added.
Wang said the initiative of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea should be held in the hands of regional countries, and added that China hopes the countries in the region will maintain the necessary vigilance against actors working behind the scenes.
The senior Chinese diplomat reaffirmed China's commitment to working towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that is in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
China and ASEAN countries have full wisdom and capacity to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and build a shared home, Wang said.