No change in foreign policy, says Chinese envoy
| 10/31/2012 3:02 AM
MANILA, Philippines - China’s top diplomat in the Philippines said Tuesday that there will be no change in the Chinese government’s foreign policy even as the country goes through a major leadership transition next month.
“There is consistency in China’s foreign policy,” Ambassador Ma Keqing said in a chance interview.
Ma emphasized that China’s basic state policy and its future foreign policy directions will remain unchanged.
She said China is more determined to go for peaceful development as the Communist Party’s 18th Congress, the most important political meeting in China in 10 years that will replace the current leadership, nears.
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will convene on Nov. 8 in Beijing.
A new generation of leaders, including Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, are expected to be placed in the party’s top positions, replacing the current leadership headed by President Hu Jintao.
The ambassador and President Aquino’s special envoy to China Carlos Chan were guests at the Tuesday Club breakfast forum at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel yesterday.
Ma said she “feels at home in the Philippines because of the large Filipino-Chinese community here.”
Ma admitted she found difficulties understanding Filipino culture, especially the political culture, but is now coping well as friends help her learn.
During the height of the standoff between Manila and Beijing over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it was unfortunate that the Chinese response was based on inaccurate appreciation of the facts and dynamics of the negotiations.
The DFA also informed the Chinese embassy that in order to address the impasse and to avoid future misunderstanding, “the dialogue between the two governments must be based on complete trust and the confidence that information to be conveyed to the capitals must be an accurate rendition of facts.”
The DFA believed that responsibility for resolving the issue rests not just with one party but with both parties.
Ma was summoned in April to the DFA and was presented a note verbale calling on China to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty and sovereign rights under international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), over Panatag Shoal and its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), respectively.
The DFA believed information conveyed to the Chinese government in Beijing was not very complete and even misleading.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry made representations to the Philippine embassy in Beijing for the DFA statement on Ma’s “incomplete, inaccurate and misleading” information relayed to China.