DFA chief: Time ‘not right’ to raise sea dispute with China

4 years ago 0 Comments

'Pissing contest is in full flower,' says Locsin 

MANILA — The time is "not right" for the Philippines to dredge up its territorial dispute with China, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said late Monday, following the call of his predecessor to "unshelve" an arbitration victory against the Asian giant. 

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario over the weekend urged the government to bring up a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal’s ruling that invalidated Beijing's sweeping claim to the South China Sea, following reports of the increased presence of Chinese vessels there. 

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. attends a news conference after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China March 20, 2019. Thomas Peter, Reuters

"This is actually not the right time to bring up disagreements over the South China/West Philippine Sea with both sides hot under the collar while a pissing contest is in full flower," Locsin said on Twitter. 

The Foreign Affairs chief, however, said "swarming in unison" on the resource-rich waterway "is definitely not traditional fishing under any definition." 

Asked by a Twitter follower if there is a right time, Locsin also said, "Yes. I’ll decide that." 

Another Twitter follower, however, criticized Locsin's response, saying "cowardice and diplomatic ignorance will take us nowhere." 

The official replied that "rashness will more certainly lead to a worst result." 

He also said China doesn't want any part of the Philippine national territory because that triggers Manila and Washington's Mutual Defense Treaty and "all-out war." 

"They (China) have more to lose being in the battle zone unlike the US which is thousands of miles away," he said. 

Beijing refuses to recognize the ruling that invalidated its claim to around 90 percent of resource-rich South China Sea. 
 
In December 2016, Duterte said he would "set aside" the arbitral ruling as he sought closer ties with China. 

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, said Sunday that Duterte "never shelved" the arbitral ruling, which he called "irreversible" but "unenforceable."

Del Rosario and Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales recently filed a complaint against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity over environmental damage in the South China Sea. 

Source From:https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/16/19/dfa-chief-time-not-right-to-raise-sea-dispute-with-china

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