Manila, Beijing Diplomats Agree to ‘Manage Issues’ on South China Sea

After trading strongly-worded statements on the South China Sea dispute, the Philippines and China have agreed to “manage issues of concern and promote maritime cooperation in friendly consultation.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi “engaged in open, cordial, and fruitful discussions” during a video meeting last Tuesday, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The DFA said, “Both sides reaffirmed that contentious maritime issues are not the sum total of the Philippines-China bilateral relationship,” noting the meeting was requested by Beijing’s top diplomat.

The meeting between the two officials came on the heels of Locsin’s statement calling as “non-negotiable” the historic ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands on July 12, 2016, which invalidated China’s expansive nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.

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