Palace optimistic that China can still be persuaded to act responsibly

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Monday, June 9, 2014

MALACANANG is banking on the support of the international community that the Philippines could later on persuade China not to do provocative acts in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Monday said in a press briefing that the Aquino administration believes that it has gaining approval from the international community by continuing to resort to diplomatic track in resolving the territorial dispute with China.

"People seem to underestimate the fact or the power of the diplomatic track but there has been a growing approval from the international community. We believe that with the international community support, we can persuade China to act as a responsible member of the international community. And also China realizes the importance of being a member of the international community in good standing," he said.

China reportedly continues to build structures in some of the Philippine-claimed areas in West Philippine Sea, the latest of which is the Fiery Reef or the Kagitingan Reef.

Lacierda said the government has yet to verify this latest report.

China recently was found to have built structures in Mabini Reef.

Amid the territorial row between the Philippines and China, President Benigno Aquino III is set to attend this week the 13th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day, as organized by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

The President will deliver a speech, during which he will highlight the contributions of the Filipino-Chinese community not only to the growth of our economy but also to the enhancement of civic life, Lacierda said.

Asked if the Philippines still considers China a friend despite its bullying in the West Philippine Sea, the Palace official reiterated that the relations of the two countries are multi-faceted.

"We have always had very good relations with China in the other areas of exchange that we have: people-to-people, tourism, trade. So—and a number of us also have roots or have Chinese blood. So I think it should not be a concern for us because, again, we have a very rich relation with China which is not limited to the current situation in the West Philippine Sea," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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