Philippines, China tackle sea row today
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China are set to discuss their conflicting claims in the South China Sea today, days after President Duterte threatened to order the shooting of foreigners who would extract natural resources from the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the second meeting of the Philippine-China Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) on the South China Sea would be held in Manila and would tackle “contentious issues” of the longstanding maritime dispute. 

“The purpose of this BCM is to discuss issues of concern to either side and cooperation in the South China Sea, and identify mutually acceptable approaches towards addressing this issue. So we are not being soft on China, there are ongoing bilateral talks as far as contentious South China Sea issues are concerned,” Roque said in a press briefing yesterday. 

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo will lead the Philippine delegation during the meeting, which will also be attended by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou.

The BCM, which is held every six months, was established after Duterte’s landmark visit to China in October 2016. The two countries agreed to establish the mechanism as part of their commitment to resolve the South China Sea row peacefully. 

HARRY ROQUE PHILIPPINE-CHINA BILATERAL CONSULTATION MECHANISM SOUTH CHINA SEA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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