The Philippines urges China to 'engage in friendly initiatives' to settle territorial disputes
Published on Jun 10, 2014 9:17 PM
MANILA - The Philippines struck a conciliatory tone on Tuesday, as it urged China to "engage in friendly initiatives" to settle disputes it has with its neighbours over territories in the South China Sea.
"The dispute that we do have in the sea that borders our respective lands should not be the sum total of our relationships," Philippine President Benigno Aquino said in a speech before members of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries marking the 13th "Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day".
He added: "Our relationships are based on so many more things, not just on this dispute, and that peace and stability are necessary components for our own - for everybody's - progress."
Echoing a statement delivered during the same event by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, Mr Aquino said the territorial rows now flaring between Manila and Beijing are "temporary difficulties" that could be resolved through negotiations.
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