BBM: ‘No territorial conflict with China’

NEW YORK CITY — “What we have is China claiming territories that belong to the Philippines,” President Marcos said, asserting the country’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Nevertheless, the chief executive stressed that he has asked the Chinese government “not to make our differences” concerning maritime concerns “the defining element of our relationship.”

Despite focusing on the territorial dispute, Marcos said he would rather “engage China” on developing people-to-people ties, education, cultural exchanges, among others.

Manila has a long-standing maritime dispute with Beijing in the WPS despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in favor of the Philippines, the country continues to be locked in a maritime dispute with China.

Beijing lays claim to over 80 percent of the South China Sea, including the WPS which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

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