Philippines, China to deepen cooperation â Beijing official
Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the commitment made by the two sides was one of the highlights of the 22nd Philippine-China Foreign Ministry Consultation held in Manila on Tuesday last week.
FMPRC/Released/File
Philippines, China to deepen cooperation – Beijing official
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - July 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China have committed to continue to deepen cooperation under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and “unswervingly” adhere to good neighborliness, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said both sides have agreed that since the Philippines-China relationship turned around in 2016, the two countries have renewed their friendship, properly managed differences and expanded cooperation, which has promoted common development and injected positive energy to regional development and prosperity.

Hua said the commitment made by the two sides was one of the highlights of the 22nd Philippine-China Foreign Ministry Consultation held in Manila on Tuesday last week.

“First, we stay committed to the general direction of China-Philippines good neighborliness,” she said in a press conference in Beijing on Friday.

“The two sides stress that we will unswervingly adhere to good neighborliness and continue to deepen our cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and be each other’s good neighbor, good friend and good partner forever,” she added.

China was accused of using the BRI as a way to flex its economic muscle for political gain. The BRI is also seen as a cover for “debt-trap diplomacy.”

The Philippines was repeatedly warned about falling into a Chinese debt trap involving the injudicious use of loans from China in various countries as the attitude of caution should be present when accepting Chinese loans.

Meanwhile, China and the Philippines will join hands to advance the consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), according to Hua.

“We stay committed to the general direction of peace and stability in the South China Sea,” she said.

“The two sides believe that with the concerted efforts of China, the Philippines and other countries in the region, the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilized in general, with growing momentum for cooperation and increasing positive factors,” she added.

Manila and Beijing decided to hold the fifth meeting of the China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea to manage and control the maritime situation and step forward for joint development.

“As co-chairs of the Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, China and the Philippines will join hands to advance the consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea,” she said.

As country coordinator for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China, the Philippines reaffirmed during the meeting in Manila last week its commitment to work closely with ASEAN member states and China on initiatives that would promote peace and prosperity in the region, particularly on sustaining the steady progress of the negotiations on an effective and substantive COC.

BEIJING’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE CHINA HUA CHUNYING
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