The government is committed to defend the country’s sovereignty while continuing to enhance mutually beneficial relations with China, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Roque dispelled speculations the government was giving too much too soon in the relations with China. “The Duterte administration has certainly not given up too much too early too soon in its relations with China nor China gained more than us,” Roque said.
“On the contrary, we have upheld our national interests and produced tangible benefits for our people in pursuing friendly and mutually beneficial ties with China,” he said.
Roque highlighted that there is “peace in the region” while local fisherman have resumed fishing rights in Scarborough Shoal. Roque also cited increased arrivals of Chinese tourists as well as investments from mainland China.
“We have said in numerous occasions that we will continue to defend our sovereignty and sovereign rights when we discuss our territorial and maritime disputes with China while maximizing the benefits of our people by promoting economic and other relations with China in which there are no contentious issues between us,” he said.