China to PHL: Join us in properly managing maritime dispute

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang was asked regarding the latest statements of Philippine officials regarding the West Philippine Sea on April 11. This is after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said that “the stand is that it is ours. And they took it. World’s highest court ruled that. Period. Now the question is how to take it back.”

The Chinese spokesperson said “the Nansha Islands are within China’s territory, for which we have sufficient historical and legal basis. For thousands of years, Chinese fishermen have been fishing in these waters in the South China Sea. Their rights should not be challenged.”

He added that it is “China’s consistent belief that the relevant disputes related to the South China Sea shall be resolved through negotiations between China and countries directly concerned including the Philippines, and we are committed to upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea in concert with other regional countries.” 

“The situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and steady progress has been made in the consultations on the COC. The China-Philippines relationship has experienced a turnaround, been consolidated and elevated to a comprehensive strategic cooperative one. This positive momentum is hard-won and shall be all the more cherished,” he said.

“We hope that the Philippine side can join us in properly managing the South China Sea issue, upholding peace and tranquility on the sea, and bringing more benefits to the two peoples,” he added. “We hope that the Philippine side will join us in strictly implementing the important consensus reached by the two leaders on properly resolving the South China Sea issue and safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea.”