BEIJING: On Thursday, January 5, China and the Philippines announced in a joint statement that they had decided to establish a direct line of communication between their foreign ministries on the South China Sea in order to resolve concerns amicably.
The two countries are working to mend a relationship damaged after the Philippines sought an arbitral ruling in 2016 that invalidated China’s broad claims in the South China Sea. The joint statement, which contained 14 agreements, contained 14 agreements aimed at reducing security tensions and enhancing economic cooperation.
The South China Sea is a disputed region with abundant oil, gas, and fisheries resources. The Philippines has previously expressed worry over reported Chinese building activity and the “swarming” of Beijing’s vessels in this region.
Following their meeting in Beijing on Wednesday, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a joint statement in which they reiterated their commitment to upholding each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Along with discussing collaboration in fields including solar, wind, electric vehicles, and nuclear power, the two parties also agreed to pick up their discussions about oil and gas exploitation in the South China Sea.
The Philippines’ and China’s coastguards will also get together “as soon as possible” to talk about “pragmatic cooperation.”
According to the statement, both nations will think about communicating with one another before rocket launches and working together to collect rocket debris.
A Chinese coastguard ship prevented a Philippine boat from attempting to pull away the Chinese rocket wreckage that had fallen into the South China Sea in November.
The statement noted that both nations would undertake an annual dialogue on security and reiterated the significance of preserving peace, stability, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.
In order to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to pre-pandemic levels or higher, China promised to open its borders to additional imports from the Philippines.
Additionally, both parties pledged to increase travel to both capitals and flying frequency to pre-pandemic levels.
The two sides will work together to purchase vaccines, according to the joint statement. One of the main exporters of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide is China.
Marcos’ three-day trip to Beijing takes place as China emerges from a border closure it imposed on itself after the outbreak began in 2020, which affected trade and the country’s economy.
The Belt and Road Initiative, which is the centerpiece of Xi’s international infrastructure investment plan, was also extended by both parties.
Image Source: channelnewsasia.com
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Jan 5, 2023