MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou would lead the delegation for the second bilateral consultation mechanism meeting to be held in Manila tomorrow.
Speaking at a briefing at Malacanang, Secretary Roque aid Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo will lead the Philippine delegation.
“Contentious issues concerning the South China Sea are discussed in what is known as the bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea,” Secretary Roque told media practitioners in Malacanang.
The bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea, which is held once every six months, was established based on the joint statement issued after President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China in October 2016.
Secretary Roque explained the BCM’s purpose is to discuss issues of concern to either side and cooperation in the South China Sea and identify mutually acceptable approaches towards addressing these issues.
“It is a matter of informing that public that a mechanism has been in existence, and in response to claims that we are not doing anything. We are doing what the government has deemed best to be done,” Roque was quoted saying.
These ongoing talks demonstrated that the Philippines is not being soft with China, according to Secretary Roque. He also confirmed the Philippine government has protests not only the building of the artificial islands but also the alleged militarization of the islands.
“The Philippine government has consistently filed protests even during the term of President Duterte, we have filed protests,” Mr. Roque claimed. (Melo M. Acuna)