XI refuses to recognize arbitral ruling anew

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BEIJING — President Rodrigo Duterte presented to Chinese President Xi Jingping the Phillippine Government’s position on the west Philippine Sea – to recognize the arbitral ruling during the bilateral meeting on Thursday, Aug. 29, in Beijing.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President presented the Philippine Government’s position in a “friendly, assertive, and unequivocal manner”.

However, Panelo said Xi also reaffirmed China’s position that it is not recognizing the said ruling.

Panelo described the bilateral meeting as “very friendly mood” despite discussions involving sensitive issues such as the West Philippine Sea, a Palace official said Friday.

He said Duterte was not surprised with the reaction of Xi, since when he took office in 2016, the Chinese government never changed its position.

“We already said that our position is also the same. We are not changing ours. And they both agreed after that, that it should not be the sum total, the conflict issue should not be the sum total of the relationships between the two countries and they should move forward. But, at the same time, continue with the dialogue peacefully on that issue,” Panelo said.

Panelo added that Xi told Duterte that he is not offended with the Philippine chief executive raising the issues on disputed waters.

“As long as the two sides handle the South China Sea issue properly, the atmosphere of bilateral ties will be sound, the foundation of the relationship will be stable, and regional peace and stability will have an important

guarantee,” Xi said as quoted in China’s news agency Xinhua.

Panelo said both sides agreed to refrain from any acts that will raise tensions in the disputed waters. ( with PNA reports)

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