Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for policy Enrique Manalo and newly appointed Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui co-chaired yesterday the 22nd Philippines-China FMC in Manila.
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Philippines-China meeting reaffirms commitment to work with Asean
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China convened yesterday for the 22nd Foreign Ministry Consultations (FMC), as Manila reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states and Beijing on sustaining the steady progress of negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

As country coordinator for ASEAN and China dialogue relations until 2021, the Philippines vowed to work closely with ASEAN member-states and China on initiatives that would further promote peace and prosperity in the region.

“The Philippines reiterated its resolve to safeguard rule of law, peace, security and stability in the South China Sea,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The FMC is an annual bilateral dialogue mechanism under which the Philippines and China review and chart the course of bilateral relations, discuss developments in practical cooperation initiatives and exchange views on regional and international issues and other matters of mutual concern.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for policy Enrique Manalo and newly appointed Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui co-chaired yesterday the 22nd Philippines-China FMC in Manila.

Manalo and Luo discussed functional cooperation in a wide range of cooperation areas. These include mutual collaboration in enhancing bilateral two-way trade, investment promotion, infrastructure development, science and technology, renewable energy sources development and assistance in the fields of agriculture and fisheries.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen collaboration in defense and law enforcement, particularly in combatting transnational crimes, illegal narcotics and violent extremism and terrorism.

In the area of people-to-people exchange, both sides committed to further increasing tourist arrivals and exchanges between cultural groups, academics and researchers, as well as youth and media groups.

China will host the 23rd FMC at a mutually agreed date in 2020, when the Philippines and China will mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The visiting Chinese vice foreign minister also paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. before the FMC, wherein they exchanged views on Philippines-China bilateral relations.

US stirring trouble, sowing discord – China

As China strengthens its ties with the Philippines, it has slammed the US for raising concerns over reports of China’s interference with oil and gas activities in the South China Sea, including Vietnam’s long-standing exploration and production activities.

China is confident ASEAN members will never believe US claims on Beijing’s alleged interference with oil and gas activities in the disputed South China Sea.

In a statement on July 20, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus cited Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s remarks that China is blocking development in the South China Sea through coercive means.

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS SOUTH CHINA SEA
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