Chinese President Calls on Philippines to Enhance Dialogue on South China Sea Issue

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Beijing and Manila should intensify dialogue on settling the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an article published by The Philippine Star newspaper.

Chinese President Calls on Philippines to Enhance Dialogue on South China Sea Issue

"We need to properly handle differences through friendly consultations, enhance dialogue and cooperation on maritime issues, and make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation that truly benefits our two peoples," Xi said.

He noted that since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had taken office, the dialogue on the issue resumed, Sputnik reported.

"I am visiting [the Philippines] this time mainly to have in-depth discussions with President Duterte on how to elevate our all-around cooperation under new circumstances and make an overall plan for greater progress in our relationship toward a higher level… We need to deepen political mutual trust to sustain the growth of China-Philippine relations," Xi stated.

China is involved in a number of territorial disputes over the islands in the South China Sea. China and the Philippines along with Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam are contesting the Spratly archipelago, whose shelf has significant oil and gas reserves.

In July 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration said that there was no legal basis for China’s maritime claims in the region after the relevant request of Manila. China refused to recognize the court’s ruling.

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