Yasay: PH refuses talks with China

  • PH refuses to pursue talks with China
  • China says it is open to talks with the Philippines but not on the basis of the ruling on the West Philippines Sea
  • The informal talk between foreign affairs chief Perfecto Yasay Jr and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi happened during the Asia-Europe summit in Mongolia last weekend

The Philippines has refused to pursue  talks with China after its officials said they will not use the ruling on West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as basis during the planned dialogues.

“They asked us to open ourselves for bilateral negotiations but outside of and in disregard of the arbitral ruling. This is something that I told him was not consistent with our Constitution and our national interest,” Philippine Star quoted foreign affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr’s statement on a television interview.

Yasay said that he defended that the talks with China over Tuesday’s ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) should be the basis of the discussion on whether China will accommodate Filipino fishermen to have access in the contested Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. Chinese coast guards have long prevented Filipino fishermen from entering the fishing grounds since the issue broke in 2012.

“We would like to discuss with you how your fishermen would have access in that area, but not in the context of the arbitral tribunal,” Yasay relayed what his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi told him during the meeting.

“They said, ‘If you will insist on the ruling, discussing along those lines, then we might be headed for a confrontation’,” he also said; quoting Wang.

The meeting between the two dignitaries was held last weekend during the Asia-Europe summit in Mongolia.

China has earlier said that it will not honor the PCA’s ruling on the disputed territory; calling it a farce.

Last week, the United Nations-backed court said that as between the Philippines and China, there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the ‘9-dash line.'”

The 9-dash line is a demarcation based on an old map of China that dates back to the 1940s. This has been the basis of China’s claim over the contested waters.