Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says his country is ready for negotiations with the Philippines on joint resource exploration in the South China Sea.Wang spoke to reporters after meeting with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin in the city of Davao in the southern Philippines on Monday.
“Countries concerned have returned to the track of dialogue and negotiations and consultations to properly handle the differences, together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, China and these countries are jointly upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Wang said.
Wang, who is on a two-day visit to the Philippines, added that a peaceful and stable South China Sea meets the common interests of the regional countries and that it is the shared aspiration of the regional countries and shared responsibility for all concerned.Wang said Beijing is ready to discuss joint exploration of oil, natural gas and other resources in the South China Sea.
Wang said that China will work with the Philippines to set up and improve institutions and mechanism for maritime communication.
“Now China and the Philippines have increased interactions on the sea. We should work together to build up the mechanism for such interactions,” Wang said, adding that China is ready to set up similar mechanism with other concerned parties to enhance communication and properly handle emergencies.
“We should work together to speed up the COC consultation,” Wang said, referring to the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, of which a single draft negotiating text has been reached.
Wang said China is ready to work with other ASEAN countries to speed up COC consultation and that China also hopes to conclude the consultation during the term of the Philippines as a country coordinator for China-ASEAN relations.
“So that we can set up a set of regional norms to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Wang said, adding that China welcomes all constructive opinions within the framework of the single text that has been agreed.
Wang also urged all concerned parties to be vigilant against and prevent interferences and disruptions coming from the outside.
“As China and the Philippines and other coastal countries are cooperating to uphold peace and cooperation in the South China Sea, some non-regional countries are doing things completely counter to our efforts,” Wang warned.
Wang said these countries have never hesitated in stirring up troubles, and making waves in the South China Sea, and they are willful in showing off their forces in the waters.
“Regional countries need to keep high vigilance against these. We must further enhance our solidarity and work together to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.By this we will not leave any chance to be exploited by any external forces,” Wang said.
The disputed waters have been a contentious issue between the two countries.