Chinese envoy: China will not wage war against Philippines

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said Philippines and China should go back to table and negotiate on the issue of West Philippine Sea dispute. “I think the best is to sit down bilaterally to talk. We need to resume our bilateral negotiation without any condition,” the Chinese envoy said speaking to journalists July 6, a day before Artbitral Tribunal opens first round of hearing Philippines’ case.

“I think this is the best way that we can discuss how to peacefully settle these disputes,” he added. However, Zhao said China will not wage a war against Philippines. “China has never regarded the dispute as a military dispute.”

“Our door for bilateral consultation and negotiation is still open and will be open forever,” he said.

Proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration will start, 2:30 pm today, with Solicitor General Florin Hilbay’s presentation. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will also speak before the five-member tribunal to tackle reason for the filing of the Philippines’ case.

“Thereafter, lawyers from Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag, led by Paul Reichler will present the arguments regarding jurisdiction,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement.