Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has affirmed that the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague, the Netherlands on the case between his country and China in the East Sea will be a “ground” for future talks between Manila and Beijing over territorial disputes.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the statement came in a meeting between President Duterte and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Manila, during which, the two sides discussed the East Sea among other issues of mutual concern.
Speaking with the press after the meeting, Kerry asserted that the US does not stand with any particular party in the East Sea dispute, however, it will have obvious viewpoints in safeguarding rights to freedom and legal use of aerial and water areas stipulated in international law.
The American diplomat said Washington hopes disputes will be solved peacefully through diplomatic ways, without coercion and threat to use force.
On the same day, President Duterte convened a National Security C ouncil session with the participation of four former presidents, including Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, to discuss the government’s strategies in future talks with China to solve East Sea disputes and other security matters.