China position on PHL arbitral win ‘will not be changed’ —envoy

China is not keen on changing its position not to honor the Philippines’ arbitral victory which President Rodrigo Duterte is set to personally raise with his Chinese counterpart later this month.

“We will not accept it, we’ll not recognize it and that position has not changed and will not be changed,” said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua in JP Soriano’s report on Balitanghali on Friday.

Malacañang has earlier said Duterte believes his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month will be the right time to raise the Philippines’ landmark victory against Beijing’s expansive claim to the South China Sea.

Duterte will embark on his fifth trip to China as president later this month.

The United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2016 handed a sweeping victory for the Philippines on the lawsuit it filed against China during the presidency of Benigno Aquino III.

The tribunal invalidated China’s historical claims to nearly the entire South China Sea and clarified Manila’s maritime entitlements.

It also declared that Beijing violated the rights of Filipinos, who were blocked by Chinese Coast Guard from fishing in the Scarborough Shoal, which is well within Manila’s exclusive economic zone, following a standoff in 2012.

‘China won’t insist on larger share’

Meanwhile, Zhao also assured the Philippines that China won’t push for a bigger share of oil and gas resources in the West Philippine Sea.

“China will not insist on larger share than that of the Philippines from the perspective of the government,” he said. “It’s really up to the enterprises concerned.”

Duterte had earlier said he would push for the exploitation of natural resources in the West Philippine Sea during his meeting with Xi, adding he sees nothing wrong with China’s proposal for a 60-40 deal in favor of the Philippines. —Source: KBK, GMA News

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