- PH’s ambassador to China said UN ruling will be invoked in due time
- He stressed upcoming talks to focus more on finding diplomatic solution
- China also supportive of PH decision to pursue bilateral talks
MANILA, Philippines – Amid upcoming bilateral talks with China over the West Philippine Sea dispute, Ambassador Jose Sta. Romana said the government will surely bring up the country’s arbitral win with its giant neighbor at “the proper time”.
“This is the mechanism that could provide a setting for it. The question is at what point will you bring it up and the president’s instruction is quite clear: at the proper time,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
Sta. Romana, who is set to meet a Chinese delegation in Guizhou province on Friday, stressed their main mission for now is to find common ground for both countries.
“We don’t start with the issue that will divide you. We start with the issues that what…if there is a mechanism for discussing it, this is it. At the proper time as the President has said,” he said.
“Sometimes you have to give diplomacy a chance and I think the President’s friendly position towards China and his independent foreign policy,” Sta. Romana added.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said their side echoed Sta. Romana’s sentiments.
“China hopes and believes that the two countries will build up consensus, enhance mutual trust, disperse suspicion, properly manage disputes, and move forward maritime practical cooperation through bilateral dialogues so as to make the conditions more favorable towards the final settlement of the relevant dispute and create a good atmosphere for the sound and steady development of bilateral ties and the smooth progress of practical cooperation in various fields,” she said.