PHL to continue using open lines with China on sea dispute


The Philippines will continue using open communication lines to “talk to our friend China” even as Manila has moved to bring the long-running territorial dispute before an international tribunal, Malacañang said Saturday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said this amid reports that China is ignoring the Philippines’ complaint on the dispute.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to take advantage of open lines to talk to our friend China when it comes to the dispute we have raised. We will continue to communicate and keep our lines open,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

The Philippines has formally filed a complaint against China before an international tribunal for claiming some parts of the Philippine territory in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.

Last January, the Philippines handed a note verbale to Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing to notify China of its decision to elevate its complaint to an Arbitral Tribunal.

The Arbitral Tribunal is an option provided for by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China’s nine-dash line overlaps with the territories of its Asian neighbors like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.