People’s Republic of China on Monday welcomed the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he will temporary shelved the ruling made by Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and pushed the bilateral talks to resolve contesting issues of the two neighbor country.
Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, who attended the All Heroes Day celebration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, said that they could not just throw the strong ties of China and the Philippines gained after thousand years of trade, partnership and friendship.
“We have been friends and partners and even relatives for over thousand years,” he told reporters in a chance interview after the ceremony.
“Despite the troubles we have, we’re confident that friendship will further be deepened, the cooperation will further be enhanced ” he added.
However, the Chinese envoy reminded the Philippine government that they cannot and will not honor the PCA conclusion.
“We cannot accept the arbitration award but we do look forward to talk to the Philippines bilaterally over troubles we have,” he said.
“But right now, we need to change our focus. We need to change our focus from differences to common interests so that we can concentrate on cooperation that will benefit our two people,” Zhao explained.
He added that they do believed that under the Duterte administration, problems of the two countries in the West Philippine Sea can be resolved using the formula of bilateral talks. (PNA) RMA/SFM