Marcos, Xi agree to peacefully resolve disputes in West Philippine Sea

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 5 ) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a ‘candid’ and ‘in-depth’ discussion in Beijing on the West Philippine Sea dispute, with both leaders agreeing that differences should be solved through peaceful means.

In a joint statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Xi and Marcos said the maritime dispute is not the sum-total of the two countries' bilateral relations. The two leaders met on Wednesday, the second day of Marcos' state visit to China.

“Both sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace and stability in the region and the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea,” the statement read.

READ: Marcos to Chinese President: PH wants to continue talks on joint exploration in WPS 

The two state leaders also stressed the importance of “reaching consensus on the peaceful resolution of disputes” based on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the United Nations Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety,” the statement read.

“They also encouraged further progress towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea … including the 1982 UNCLOS, within a mutually agreed timeline,” the statement added.

According to the statement, a direct communication mechanism was established between the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.

Marcos and Xi said the communication mechanism aims to build confidence and improve mutual trust.

During the three-day visit, the Philippines and China also signed 14 bilateral agreements including deals on agriculture, maritime security, and infrastructure.

READ: LIST: PH, China sign 14 bilateral deals during Marcos’ state visit 

The two countries also vowed to support multilateralism and cooperate with the United Nations on varying issues.

READ: Marcos pushes for expanded cooperation with China in meetings with top officials