President Aquino said relationship with China is improving amid maritime dispute. “In most facets, excluding our differing opinions on who owns what, our relationship is improving.”
Aquino added that differences in South China Sea involving West Philippine Sea is “not the end all and be all.”
However, President Aquino said that there will be no one-on-one meeting between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit to be held in Beijing, China next month.
Instead of a meeting with China’s top leader, he will brief different state leaders about the current situation in West Philippine Sea.
He will also asked for an update regarding the Code of Conduct when he attends the closing sessions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Myanmar after APEC summit in China. “Number one is, we will ask for an update of precisely what has transpired after the agreement with regard to pushing for the Code of Conduct.”
The President, in midst of China’s aggressive behavior in West Philippine Sea, is ruling out war. “Obviously, the Constitution says war as an instrument of national policy is forbidden. And it’s a ridiculous proposition.” He noted that “we’ve done everything that we can given our limitations, capabilities, and needs, and also in conformity with our Constitution.”