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Philippines vows to engage "concerned parties" over South China Sea issue: FM

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

07-15-2016 18:52 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

MANILA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Friday the Philippines will continue to engage "concerned parties" as he raised the South China Sea issue at the meeting of the leaders from Asia and Europe in Mongolia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Yasay briefed the leaders from Asia and Europe that an arbitral tribunal handed down the ruling on the sea dispute case that the Philippines filed in The Hague.

Yasay said that the Philippines affirms its respect for this decision, adding Manila called on all parties "to exercise restraint and sobriety."

"The Philippines reiterates its abiding commitment to pursue the peaceful resolution and management of disputes with a view to promoting and enhancing peace and stability in the region," he said.

At the same time, Yasay said: "We attach great importance to measures that will restore trust and confidence among parties in the region."

"The Philippines shall continue to engage concerned parties to finding ways to reduce regional tensions and to build greater trust and confidence. In this regard, the Philippines will continue fostering mutually beneficial relations with all nations," he said.

He added: "Trust and confidence go hand in hand with mutual respect and equal partnership, two of ASEM's (Asia-Europe Meeting) core values. For twenty years we have all worked under these guiding principles. I am confident that we shall continue to do so in the years ahead."

The arbitral tribunal issued the ruling Tuesday on the case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines against China regarding their disputes in the South China Sea.

The Chinese government on Wednesday issued a white paper titled "China Adheres to the Position of Settling Through Negotiation the Relevant Disputes Between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea."

"The Arbitral Tribunal established at the Philippines' unilateral request has no jurisdiction over relevant submissions, and awards rendered by it are null and void and have no binding force," said the document.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said China will continue to endeavor to peacefully resolve disputes in the South China Sea with parties directly concerned through negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday said he was asking former President Fidel Ramos to help start talks with China over disputes in the South China Sea.

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