PH, China eye marine research, protection in South China Sea



MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and China are eyeing possible cooperation in the areas of maritime research, protection, and fisheries cooperation in the South China Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Tuesday, October 29.

The DFA said this was considered as working groups on political security, fisheries cooperation, and marine scientific research, and marine environmental protection were convened during the 5th meeting of the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) on the South China Sea.

“Both sides had further frank discussions on issues of concern, and considered to undertake mutually agreed practical maritime cooperation initiatives, covering maritime search and rescue, maritime safety, and marine research or marine environment protection and fisheries cooperation in the South China Sea,” the Philippines and China said in a joint statement.

The bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China sea serves as venue for both Manila and Beijing to discuss issues involving the maritime area. Aside from this, it is also where both countries considered areas for maritime cooperation and developed relations to promote peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The Philippine delegation was led by DFA Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo while the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui. The DFA said officials from respective foreign ministries and relevant agencies were also part of the delegations.