Philippines thanks China for help amid sea spat

President Benigno Aquino Tuesday thanked China for its help to finish a major Philippine water project, amid frayed relations between the two countries over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

Aquino said the situation showed how countries could help each other even as his spokesman stressed the Philippines was firm on its claim to disputed territories like the Scarborough Shoal.

"We are thankful for the funds provided by China so we could set up this important project. It is through firm relations with our neighbouring countries that we can speedily solve our problems," Aquino said in a speech.

China backed the 5.2 billion-peso ($123-million) project, to improve water delivery to 21 million residents of Manila and surrounding provinces, through the preferential buyer's credit of China's Export-Import Bank.

Aquino said the project had been finished ahead of schedule thanks to the main contractor, the China International Water and Electric Company.

He did not mention the increased tensions between Manila and Beijing, which began after maritime forces from both countries had a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal in April.

China's ambassador Ma Kequing was at the event where Aquino inaugurated the project but declined to comment.

Chinese government ships and fishing boats are still at the shoal, despite the Philippines withdrawing its vessels from the area in June.

The standoff has worsened bilateral ties, with the Philippines accusing China of "duplicity" and "intimidation" at a recent regional forum in Cambodia.

The recent arrival of a huge Chinese fishing fleet in the Spratly Islands -- another disputed territory in the South China Sea -- has also raised Philippine concerns.

Aquino's spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Philippines continued to seek a peaceful resolution to the dispute and was trying to "de-escalate tensions" through its actions.

But, he stressed, "we will maintain our sovereign rights over our exclusive economic zone. That is something that we will not give up".

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines says the Scarborough Shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

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.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options