A high Chinese official has made the assurance that the Philippines-China territorial dispute over the Spratly islands will not adversely affect relations between the two countries.
The conciliatory words were uttered by Jiang Shusheng, vice chair of the 11th National People’s Congress of China, to Vice President Jejomar Binay when he paid a courtesy call on the latter on Friday.
Jiang’s visit follows that of China’s defense minister, Gen. Liang Guanglie.
Binay said his meeting with Jiang touched briefly on the Spratlys issue and that both agreed that incidents connected to the issue should not become a thorn in bilateral relations.
He said Jiang supported President Benigno Aquino’s call to settle the issue peacefully through talks.
“We should keep a friendly atmosphere and in handling this situation, we should always keep in mind the relationship between our countries and our peoples,” Jiang said in a statement.
The Spratlys, a reputedly oil-rich chain of islands and reefs, is claimed wholly or in part by the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Read more at Philippine Daily Inquirer