Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday said the Philippines can trust China to honor the agreements it has entered with the country but must also be cautious amid tensions over claims in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“Of course we trust China on their words. It is a regional power and I have no reason to believe that it will renege on any agreements,” said in a message to reporters.
“The devil, as they say, are in the details later on when we go on joint development of the resources in the WPS. Let us trust but we must also be cautious,” Lorenzana added.
Earlier, the Philippines and China have agreed to form groups that would finalize agreements on joint oil and gas explorations in the WPS.
“But at this stage, our governments have agreed to disagree civilly on the WPS issue while we manage our differences. Our relationship with China is not circumscribed by the WPS issue alone,” Lorenzana said.
He said there are other bigger issues that the Philippines and China can agree on, which are mutually beneficial, such as trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges. PNA.GOV.PH