Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said his meeting with Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday night focused on strengthening communication and “managing maritime differences” between the two countries.
“They exchanged views on how to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, strengthen dialogue and communication, and properly manage maritime differences between China and the Philippines,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a post on its website.
Marcos summoned China’s top diplomat in the country to express his serious concern over the increasing frequency and intensity of actions of China against personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard and Filipino fishermen, according to the Presidential Communications Office.
The latest incident involved the Chinese Coast Guard’s use of a military-grade laser against a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel while in a resupply mission for Filipino troops in Ayungin Shoal.
A Philippine Naval vessel – the BRP Sierra Madre – has been grounded at Ayungin shoal since 1999.
China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin earlier said the PCG vessel “intruded into the waters off the Ren’ai Reef without Chinese permission.”
Wang maintained that Ren’ai Reef is part of China’s Nansha Islands or what the Philippines refers to as Spratly Islands.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has lodged a protest against the incident.
During his state visit to China last month, Marcos had a bilateral meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People where part of their talks focused on the West Philippine Sea.
Marcos also took the chance to raise the plight of Filipino fisherfolk in the region, who were allegedly being harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard.—LDF, GMA Integrated News
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