Source: China State Council Information Office
China hails the Philippines for rebuffing attempts of some countries to incite tensions in the South China Sea, according to a foreign ministry spokesperson Wednesday.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the comment at a press briefing in response to a question on Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s recent remarks on the South China Sea and bilateral relations. Calling such attempts unpopular, Wang said some countries outside the region are trying to stir up trouble and create tension in the region, which go against the will of the regional countries.
Reportedly, citing an order by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Lorenzana said the Philippines would not join navies of other countries in maritime drills in the South China Sea for fear of raising tension in the area.
The Philippines advocates peaceful settlement of relevant disputes through legal means, Lorenzana said.
The Philippines and China have carried out many exchanges in epidemic control, people-to-people exchange and military, said Lorenzana, adding that it is believed that the two countries will gradually resume exchanges in various fields after the pandemic is overcome.
Wang said this statement is yet another proof of the Philippines’ independent foreign policy, which embodies the common aspiration of the regional countries to pursue peace and development.
China and ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, are currently focusing on the fight against COVID-19 and resuming economic activities, which call for solidarity, coordination, peace and stability, Wang said.
He added that with joint efforts of China and ASEAN, two-way trade and investment grew in the first half of this year, and fast-track lanes for personnel and logistics exchanges have been established to facilitate resumption of work and production, as well as the smooth operation of industrial and supply chains.
“China is confident in working with countries in the region to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, maintain development momentum and safeguard common well-being of the people in the region,” he said.