Relations between China and the Philippines are at a turning point, a top Chinese diplomat has told a visiting Philippine delegation, adding that China hopes the Philippines can handle disputes “appropriately” and get relations back on track.
The remarks by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin come as the two countries at odds over sovereignty in the South China Sea try to sound each other out, and set parameters for dialogue on an issue in which both have vowed not to give way.
The mid-level visit was the latest part of some carefully calibrated engagement after a July ruling by an arbitration panel in The Hague that overwhelmingly favored the Philippines in its dispute with China over the South China Sea, invalidating China’s claim to most of the waters.
China has declined to recognize the ruling while Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly said he wants peace with China, but will not make concessions on any part of the tribunal’s conclusion. Read More