Duterte government may reopen door to China-Philippines dialogue

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-6-5 19:58:01

The door of dialogue between China and the Philippines is always open as long as Manila desires to resolve any dispute through negotiations.

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said his country would adopt an independent foreign policy from his predecessor. Incoming Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay also said he would like to resume bilateral talks with China.

Bilateral talks between the two countries could help untangle disputes in the South China Sea and break the deadlock in bilateral relations, as Yasay previously said.

Since China and the Philippines established diplomatic ties in 1975, bilateral relations have developed a lot with broadening cooperation in a wide range of areas.

During a state visit by then Chinese president Jiang Zemin to the Philippines in 1996, leaders of the two countries agreed to establish a relationship based on good-neighborliness and mutual trust in the 21st century. They also reached an understanding based on "shelving disputes and striving for joint development" in the South China Sea.

In 2000, the two countries signed the Joint Statement Between China and the Philippines on the Framework of Bilateral Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, which further confirmed these intentions.

During then Chinese president Hu Jintao's state visit to the Philippines in 2005, both countries decided to establish a strategic and cooperative relationship aimed at peace and development.

During then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's official visit to the Philippines in 2007, both sides issued a joint statement reaffirming prior commitments of a cordial relationship between the two countries.

On the South China Sea issue, successive leaders of both China and the Philippines had agreed that any maritime territorial dispute should be resolved peacefully through direct negotiations.

The same commitment was made through the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002.

It is because of the above-mentioned consensus that China and the Philippines have been able to effectively manage their disputes in the South China Sea for quite some time.

However, in 2013, the Philippine government, led by outgoing President Benigno Aquino, initiated an invalid arbitration case against China involving the South China Sea despite criticism from the international community.

Furthermore, to consolidate its role as a staunch supporter of the US in realizing the latter's "rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific," Manila has relentlessly wooed Washington by allowing the US army to use its military bases and hold joint military drills.

The Aquino government's irresponsible and reckless actions have only worsened relations between the Philippines and China and increased instability in the region.

It is believed that the new Philippine government will be wise enough not to follow Aquino's path and return to the negotiating table.

Doing so will contribute to the sound and stable development of China-Philippines ties.

This is a commentary of the Xinhua News Agency. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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