Philippines Promises China: South China Sea Will Not Be on the APEC Agenda
Nov. 12, 2015 (EIRNS)–In another sign that the Philippines has seen the writing on the wall, President Aquino is reported in the Philippine Inquirer today to have told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the South China Sea issue will not be on the agenda of the APEC Summit, which will be held in Manila from Nov. 17-19, with both Presidents Xi Jinping and Obama present.
The Inquirer article leads: “The Philippines will keep its mouth shut.”
Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Philippines, Charles Jose, told the Inquirer there were two reasons: “We have a pending case before the United Nations; and it is not the proper forum,” since the issue was a security question and APEC is an economic forum. He added, however, that other countries (without naming Obama) “have every right to raise it. We cannot stop other countries from discussing issues that they consider important.”
Jose said that “the Philippines remains committed to being a good host and making the visit [of Xi] productive, safe and comfortable.”
Sen. Ferdinand (Bong Bong) Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday: “I think we should take every opportunity to talk to the Chinese, be it formally, be it informally. We have to come up with a solution between the Chinese and the Philippines…. As long as the two sides are talking, there is hope we can find a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute,” he said.
Marcos is the son of the former Philippines President who was regime-changed by George Shultz in 1986. He is also the VP candidate running with presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Santiago. She was the Senator who successfully organized the Philippine Senate this week to vote that the agreement between Obama and Aquino to allow the US military occupation of Philippines bases, must be considered a treaty, and thus must be approved by the Senate — which could very well reject it.
A brief prepared by US Sen. Mike Gravel for the Philippine Supreme Court against the US military occupation, was introduced to the Court this week and is being circulated to the Philippine Congress and press by the Philippine LaRouche Society.
One reason the Philippines is trying to make amends with China was the report today from the Philippines Statistics Authority that the country’s exports plummeted by 25% in September from the previous September’s. Much of the decline was due to the fact that China accounted for just 9.9 per cent of exports for the month, versus a 28.9 percent share in September 2014, as China-Philippines relations deteriorated, due to Aquino lining up with Obama to confront China militarily.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meanwhile, did not mince words in his meeting with Aquino and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
“The key to solving this [the South China Sea issue] depends on the Philippines’ action,” Wang Yi said, “as it should undo what it has already done. We hope the Philippines can make a wiser choice on this issue.”