Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua told reporters at the turn over of P10 million donation to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for quake-hit Batanes province that the Chinese government will not accept and recognize the 2016 arbitral ruling on West Philippine Sea.
“We expressed that we will not accept it. We will not recognize that. That remains. Our position has not changed and we will not be changed,” Ambassador Zhao said as quoted by Inquirer.net.
However, the Chinese ambassador said, regarding the planned joint Recto Bank exploration, “China will not insist larger share than that of the Philippines from the perspective of the government. It’s really up to the enterprises concerned, the two sides to decide.”
“We should focus on the things that will benefit our common development, that will benefit the peoples of the two countries,” he added.
The statement was made after President Rodrigo Duterte said that in his upcoming travel to China he will be bringing up the arbitral ruling.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on August 6 that President Duterte “said, ‘that was our agreement with the President of China. Remember that I said before that there will be a time when I will invoke that arbitral ruling. This is the time, that’s why I’m going there.’”
“In other words, it’s about China and Philippines issues. ‘Di ba sinabi niya before the end of my term. He is also interested in that 60-40 joint exploration of minerals, oils, pag-uusapan nila ‘yun,” Panelo added.
Also on August 6, President Duterte said during an event of Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), “‘Yung arbitral ruling pagusapan natin ‘yan. That’s why I’m going to China. I’m not going to tell you the agenda. I’m going to China to talk. Did I not tell you before that before my term ends we will be talking about China Sea? Sinabi ko sa inyo ‘yan.”
“I’m going there because there are now some ano, ‘yung mga sparkles na which need to be addressed immediately,” he added.