Senator Marcos on Philippines closing doors to China: A wasted opportunity to settle dispute

Senator Bongbong Marcos said the Philippine government wasted an opportunity for Philippines and China to resolve the West Philippine Sea dispute and reinvigorate the relationship between the two countries. “We do not want war. Arbitration is not one that is going to be recognized by the Chinese. So it has to be negotiations.”

“China opened the door and we shut it. The Chinese said let’s talk and we snubbed them. It’s an opportunity to resolve our differences but we failed to take advantage of it,” Senator Marcos said.

During the July 8 Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum, Marcos stressed that the Philippines is not going to lose anything by accepting the Chinese invitation to a dialogue on the West Philippine Sea dispute.

“So talk, and tell them: we are not happy with what you are doing and we do not agree with what you are doing. But the next thing you say is: how do we fix this?” the Senator said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario explained before the Arbitral Tribunal during the first day of hearing, July 7, why negotiations between Philippines and China failed.

Secretary del Rosario said NONE of several previous bilateral exchanges “nor any of the great many subsequent exchanges, proved capable of resolving the impasse caused by China’s intransigent insistence that China alone possesses maritime rights in virtually the entirety of the South China Sea, and that the Philippines must recognize and accept China’s sovereignty before meaningful discussion of other issues could take place.”