China, Philippine defense chiefs discuss Spratlys

The Chinese and Philippine defense chiefs warned rival claimants Monday to avoid unilateral action and to act responsibly in the dispute over South China Sea islands, where recent spats have renewed tensions.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and his Philippine counterpart, Voltaire Gazmin, acknowledged in a joint statement the need to ensure that the South China Sea remains stable.

Liang's four-day visit comes amid renewed tensions in the disputed Spratly Islands, which are contested by China, the Philippines and four other nations. Washington has expressed concerns that the disputes could hamper access to one of the world's busiest commercial sea lanes.

"Unilateral actions which could cause alarm should be avoided," the defense ministers said in the statement.

Gazmin said they discussed the May 11 sighting of two unidentified foreign fighter jets near an island occupied by Filipino troops. Two Philippine patrol planes failed to identify the jets, which made no hostile moves.

Liang, according to Gazmin, mentioned that Philippine media accounts identified the two aircraft as Russian-made MIG fighter jets and clarified that China has no MIG planes in its air force.

The discussions did not touch on a March 2 incident in which the Philippine government accused two Chinese patrol boats of harassing a Filipino oil exploration ship into leaving a vast area called the Reed Bank. A Filipino general scrambled two military aircraft, which arrived at the scene after the Chinese vessels had left, the Philippine military said.

Filipino officials say the Reed Bank, which lies off the western Philippine province of Palawan, is not a disputed territory. China countered by saying that it has jurisdiction over the Spratlys and adjacent waters.

Gazmin said he and Liang agreed that any conflict "should be settled amicably by opening the lines of communication, dialogues and sitting down and talking to each other."

Liang discussed the dispute in a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III later Monday.

Although they did not discuss the recent altercations in detail, both agreed that there should be more dialogue to safeguard diplomatic relations among nations with claims to the Spratlys, presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said.

___

Associated Press writer Teresa Cerojano in Manila contributed to this report.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino
    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …

  • Mitsubishi reaches out to far-flung Batad community
    Mitsubishi reaches out to far-flung Batad community

    A “Dadbod” is a newly coined term now trending in media. It was introduced to the world by Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson as she refers to any man—father or bachelor—with a physique that’s a “nice balance between a beer gut and working out.” “It’s more human, natural, and attractive,” she adds. For this writer, […] The post Mitsubishi reaches out to far-flung Batad community appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Aquino: Philippines to fly usual routes over disputed reefs

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine aircraft will continue to fly their usual routes over disputed reefs in the South China Sea, the country's president said Monday, defying China's challenges to its planes and those of the United States. …

  • A weekend of premium cars
    A weekend of premium cars

    Good news to all luxury car fanatics as PGA Cars, the exclusive importer and distributor of Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley cars in the country, will be holding the PGA Cars Premium Festival from May 29 to May 31 at the PGA Center in Global City in Taguig. The 3-day event will showcase PGA’s latest […] The post A weekend of premium cars appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options