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9月29日のまにら新聞から

China has no commitment to discussing fishermen access to Scarborough - envoy

[ 342 words|2016.9.29|英字 (English) ]

China’s ambassador to the Philippines said Beijing is open to talks but made no commitment to discussing President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal to allow Filipino fishermen to return to Scarborough Shoal during his visit to China sometime October.

“We would like to discuss this issue with the Philippines and that we can look at the possibilities on how we could handle it properly,” Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said in an interview at China’s national day reception Tuesday night.

“The president has already made it clear that if he goes to China he said...we’re going to focus on issues that unite us instead of issues that will divide us,” said Zhao.

On July 12, an international tribunal in the Netherlands favored the Philippines on the case it filed against China and invalidated Beijing’s sweeping and historical claims on nearly the entire South China Sea.

The tribunal also ruled no country can claim sovereign rights over the shoal. China has refused to recognize the ruling.

Duterte said he wants China to comply with the ruling, but maintains a conciliatory stance towards Beijing.

China seized Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines after a standoff in 2012.

“We quite understand that your president is concerned about the well-being of your fishermen and our fishermen also suffered from this kind of tension. So based on traditional friendship and brotherhood we would like to figure out how we can handle it,” said Zhao.

In his reception speech, Zhao said it is “natural” to have different positions on certain issues between two nations.

“As friends and partners, as long as China and the Philippines maintain the political willingness to resolve problems, there will be no insurmountable obstacles in the future development of bilateral relations,” he said.

Zhao said relations have improved. “Ever since President Duterte took office, China and Philippines have been engaging in friendly interactions, which have yielded a series of positive results,” he said.

“The clouds are fading away. The sun is rising over the horizon, and will shine beautifully on the new chapter of bilateral relations,” said Zhao. DMS