The Philippines and China have agreed to avoid discussions on rising tensions in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea during next week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.
“We recognize that APEC is not the proper forum to discuss this issue,” Charles Jose, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman, told reporters yesterday.
“In the context of APEC, we both agreed APEC is an economic forum and it won’t be a proper venue to discuss political security issues,” he said.
Jose’s pronouncement came shortly after Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s meeting yesterday with his Chinese countepart Wang Yi. Wang later met with President Aquino at Malacañang.
“On APEC, Minister Wang said the main purpose of his visit is to confer with Philippine government officials regarding preparations for APEC, to ensure that the attendance of President Xi Jinping in AELM (APEC economic leaders meeting) will be smooth, safe and successful,” Jose said.