China’s envoy told PH won’t waive a ‘single inch’ of West PH Sea — Locsin
China’s top diplomat has been told: The Philippines will not waive a “single inch” of its claim over the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin said he himself told this to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when they first met in Davao City.
Locsin recalled his conversation with Wang when he faced his confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday.
“In Davao, as I said, when I first met the state councilor Wang Yi, the foreign minister, and I said that it’s not true that we will waive this right,” he said, responding to queries of opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros.
“We don’t waive a single inch of what is given to us in the arbitral award and international law, UNCLOS in general to which the US refuses to subscribe,” he said.
This was a reiteration of his earlier statement that the Philippines would not give up an inch of its territory despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark that China “is already in possession” of the West Philippine Sea.
Locsin, however, noted that during the recently concluded Asean summits, there was a general consensus that “we live with what’s there.”
“I said, the differences remain, the differences between China over their maritime features in the South China Sea as awarded by the arbitral (tribunal) may not be resolved, perhaps one day they will be,” he said.
But Locsin cited as example the Philippine’s territorial dispute with Malaysia over Sabah.
Despite this, he said, the two nations “continue to live in peace” and “with full economic and mutually beneficial cooperation.”
On the issue of Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the country’s top diplomat denied it was done as a “knee-jerk” reaction.
To justify the withdrawal, Locsin cited “provocations” from ICC since the start of Duterte’s presidency and when the latter launched his all out war against illegal drugs.
After answering all the questions raised during the hearing, the CA’s committee on foreign affairs endorsed Locsin’s confirmation at the plenary.
The CA later affirmed the panel’s decision and confirmed Locsin as the new Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. /kga
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