Ex-Philippine leader meets senior China official to mend ties

Laura Christensen
August 13, 2016

The meeting in Hong Kong Thursday of former Philippines president Fidel Ramos and Chinese government figures, including former Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Fu Ying, largely concerned the disputed South China Sea.

Beijing-run media today warned Vietnam about military deployment in the South China Sea by reminding it that the last time the two countries went to war it was China that won.

"They discussed, in their private capacity, the way forward in the spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood for peace and cooperation between the two countries", the joint statement said.

His visit to Hong Kong comes after a July 12 ruling by an global court based in The Hague in favor of the Philippines in its petition against China's "nine-dash line" claim on a large part of the sea - which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines had brought the case to the UN-backed tribunal.

"Maritime order based on the rule of law is indispensable for regional stability and prosperity", Kishida told reporters, adding that the global community should strive to ensure that long-seething conflicts are resolved peacefully.

The Duterte administration expressed optimism that Ramos will have a successful dialogue with the Chinese officials.

Yasay said the Philippines is united with the worldwide community when it comes to pursuing peaceful resolution of issues in the South China Sea.

"They can start with things that you can agree on, and not necessarily begin from adversarial or insistent position", Abella said.

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Japan, the Philippines' top source of aid, said it was also discussing with Manila the lease of surveillance aircraft to help its under-equipped coast guard.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, through which more than 5 trillion dollars of trade moves annually.

Tensions over the disputes have mounted since the tribunal's decision, with China angrily rejecting it and announcing penalties for "illegal" fishing in the disputed areas.

More recently, a report by a United States-based group Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) claimed that Beijing had completed military hangars on the Mischief, Subi and Fiery Cross reefs in disputed Spratly Islands.

The Japanese loan is for the Philippine transportation department, payable over 40 years, though Ohtaka did not give a timeline for the project.

Responding to China's militarization of the area, Vietnam has deployed new mobile rockets to several of its islands in the area.

Ramos was speaking near the end of a trip to Hong Kong undertaken in a bid to rekindle ties with China, which have been soured by a maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

Other reports by My Hot News

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