China and Philippines will begin their bilateral talks this week to sort out the disputes over the South China Sea. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's administration wants to establish closer ties with China by overcoming the sovereignty rows and also aims to get investments and business.
On Saturday, Manila's ambassador to Beijing stated that this week, both Philippines and China will begin their bilateral conversation regarding the differences over the South China Sea to smoothen the tensions that exist between China and Philippines. According to reports from Reuters, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be attending a high-level meeting on China's new Silk Road plan that is scheduled to be held in Beijing. Moreover, he is said to be in favor of avoiding sovereignty rows and showing support to China for business and investment.
Jose Santiago Santa Romana, the Philippine ambassador to China further feels that the issues will not be resolved overnight but with the start of the bilateral talks, the relation can surely be better in times to come. He also told reporters that the talks on the sensitive issues are scheduled to take place in China.
Santa Romana also revealed that the first session is scheduled this week but this will be a continuous exercise wherein both China and Philippines will meet twice a year to share views and opinions on the disputed South China Sea. Notably, he stated these prior to Duterte's arrival in Beijing for the Chinese President Xi Jinping's pet project, One Belt, One summit.
In related news, it has been said that so far, the South China Sea issue was unresolved and frozen as the territorial row was taking up all the attention, Channel News Asia. But, now, the Duterte administration is treating this as something which is a very pressing issue. Moreover, Philippines is now mending ties with China and Russia. It must however be mentioned that so far China has not made any revelations regarding the bilateral talks to resolve the issue related to the South China Sea.