Philippines and China will hold bilateral talks on Friday.
This will be officially called the inaugural and First Session of the Bilateral Consultative Mechanism on the West Philippine Sea.
The event will be held in Guiyang City in Southwest China.
New Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and DFA Acting Secretary Enrique Manalo will lead the Philippine panel.
Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana talked about the holding of the bilateral talks in a press conference on Wednesday.
He said, “we should look at the bilateral talks in terms of tactical and strategic stages.”
He stressed, “President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive is to find a peaceful and diplomatic approach to solve the issues to further bilateral relations.”
When asked if the Philippine team will raise the United Nations (UN) Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling during the PH-China talks, Sta. Romana said, “you do not start an issue that will divide you.”
On July 12, 2016, the UN Arbitral Tribunal had declared that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.
The tribunal had also stated that China’s “nine-dash line” is invalid.