Duterte tells Xi Jinping 2016 arbitral award is final, binding

President Rodrigo Duterte raised the 2016 arbitral award during the bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on August 29.

“President Duterte was also steadfast in raising with President Xi concerns central to the Philippines’ claim in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), which include the ruling held by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

“He said that the arbitral award is final, binding and not subject to appeal,” Panelo added.

However, Xi just reiterated his country’s position regarding the arbitral award.

“In response, President Xi reiterated his government’s position of not recognizing the arbitral ruling as well as not budging from its position,” Panelo said.

“Both President Duterte and President Xi agreed that while their variant positions will have to remain, their differences however need not derail nor diminish the amity between the two countries. They shared the view that the contentious issue is not the sum total of the Philippines-Chinese bilateral relationship,” Panelo said.