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Philippines names ambassador to China amid sea row

Published on Dec 5, 2012 3:27 PM
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People chant anti-China slogans as they march towards the Chinese consulate in Manila's Makati financial district, in this file picture taken May 11, 2012. Philippine President Benigno Aquino named a senior diplomat as ambassador to Beijing on Wednesday, saying it showed Manila was serious about resolving a tense standoff over territory in the South China Sea. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (AFP) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino named a senior diplomat as ambassador to Beijing on Wednesday, saying it showed Manila was serious about resolving a tense standoff over territory in the South China Sea.

Erlinda Basilio, 68, who as a foreign department undersecretary helped draft national diplomatic policy, will take over a post that was effectively vacant as the two neighbours' quarrel over the Scarborough Shoal simmered.

Previous ambassador Sonia Brady suffered a stroke in August, four months after Chinese patrol vessels prevented the Philippine navy from arresting what the Philippine side described as Chinese poachers in Manila's waters.

"This sends a signal of how important our relations with China are and how serious we are in trying to achieve an understanding with them," Aquino said of Basilio's appointment.

 
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