Philippines will continue dialogue with China to ease South China Sea tensions, says president

April 8, 2024 - 1:46 PM
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An aerial view of Iroquois Reef, frequented by Filipino fishermen and part of the Philippine 200-mile exclusive economic zone, in the South China Sea, March 9, 2023. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

 Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday called on China to talk to prevent more incidents like ramming vessels and the use of water cannons in the South China Sea.

The Philippines continues to talk with China, and is exhausting all options to speak to Chinese leadership so as not to heat up tensions in the waterway, Marcos said.

He added he hopes the recently concluded joint maritime activity with Japan, Australia, and the United States will reduce incidents at sea with China.

Defense forces of the four nations on Sunday conducted a “maritime cooperative activity” involving five warships in the South China Sea.

Later this week, leaders of Japan, the United States and the Philippines will hold a summit in Washington to discuss issues like recent incidents in the South China Sea.

China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor