Chinese embassy 'shocked' at DFA statement
MANILA, Philippines - The Chinese embassy on Thursday said it was "shocked" at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) statements that Ambassador Ma Keqing is relaying "allegedly imcomplete, inaccurate and misleading" to Beijing.
"The Chinese Foreign Ministry has made representations to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing for these irresponsible remarks," the embassy said in a press statement.
"Since the beginning of Huangyan Island incident, Ambassador Ma and the Chinese Embassy have been carrying out their duties faithfully and effectively," it said. "Thay have worked tirelessly for the proper settlement of the pending issue between the two countries and the sound and stable development of bilateral relations."
The DFA said it was concerned about China's accusation that the Philippines violated an agreement that both countries withdraw their ships at the same time.
"I felt I should clarify with the Chinese government that there was in fact no agreement and the fact that it was reported to Beijing that their position is becoming more assertive because we do not honor our agreement is inaccurate," DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said.
Del Rosario added that his counterparts from other countries have expressed support for the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China.
"Many. They say they are following the situation closely and they symphatize," he said.
Del Rosario and Defense Chief Voltaire Gazmin will attend a "2+2" meeting in Washington.
The Scarborough standoff will most likely be discussed.
"Maritime security will certainly be discussed, freedom of navigation, trade and commerce and a safe West Philippine Sea. We would want to make all nations make a judgment on this issue and the implications of this in their own country," del Rosario said.
Right now, the DFA is trying to resolve the dispute at the ASEAN level.
The DFA asserted that the Philippines will not change its position that it owns Scarborough Shoal.
The military said 2 unidentified aircraft flew over the shoal on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, but there were no untoward incidents. - reports from Willard Cheng and Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News, ANC