Palace Seeks Warmer Ties; We Know China Is A Superpower
Malacañang steered clear of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s statement on Thursday that China should become a “maritime power” but said it hoped for warmer relations with Beijing under a new leader.
“We know that they are a superpower. As to the details of that, we would let the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) answer that first,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told a press briefing in the Palace.
At the opening of 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu called for the enhancement of the country’s capability to exploit marine resources, safeguard its maritime right and interests, and build China into a maritime power.
Hu’s statements are likely to cause alarm among China’s neighbors, including Vietnam and Japan, which, like the Philippines, are involved in disputes with China over territory in Asian waters.
The Philippines remains in a standoff with China at Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), and is pursuing a diplomatic, political and legal solution to the dispute.
Lacierda said Manila hoped for warmer relations with Beijing under Xi Jinping, the Chinese vice president who is widely expected to become the next leader of China.
Lacierda said Philippine officials should wait at least a year to see how relations with Beiijing would proceed under Xi.