Beijing, Aug 24: Chi is hoping for talks with the Philippines on the South Chi Sea issue at an early date, an official said on Wednesday. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang was responding to a comment by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who said the talks might happen “within the year”, Xinhua news agency reported.
Duterte said on Tuesday that he had no plan to take the South Chi Sea arbitration to the East Asia Summit next month, and would rather talk about the dispute with Chi face to face.
Welcoming Duterte’s remarks, Lu said Chi will always work with countries directly concerned, including the Philippines, to resolve any dispute through peaceful negotiation and consultation. Chi and the Philippines, as friendly neighbours, have the ability and wisdom to settle the issue through consultation and restore friendly relations, Lu said. Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos visited Hong Kong as Duterte’s special envoy earlier this month to pave way for talks with Beijing. (IANS)