According to China’s official Xinhua news agency and SCMP, there was a meeting between Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie and his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin on May 28 in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. They both agreed to restrain their rhetoric and deeds to avoid intensifying the tension, and to continue communication until a peaceful resolution can be reached.
According to Xinhua, Liang said Chin and the Philippines were close neighbours. China attached great importance to the development of the relations between the two countries and their militaries.
Leung pointed out that Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) was Chinese inherent territory allowing no dispute. The recent Huangyan Island incident was entirely caused by the armed disturbance of Chinese fishermen by a Philippine warship. What the Philippines had done since the incident occurred complicated the situation. China asked the Philippines to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and refrain from taking any action that might further complicate and intensify the situation. He hoped that the Philippine defence department and military put the interests of the whole above everything else, stay calm and restrained, and be cautious in their words and deeds so as to maintain regional peace and stability.
Gazmin thanked Liang for meeting him and exchanged views with him on the sensitive issue. He expressed the hope that the two countries’ defence departments shall continue communications while their diplomats were dealing with the sensitive issue so as to facilitate a peaceful and rational solution of the issue.
SCMP said in addition that “The deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, General Ma Xiaotian, told Phoenix TV on Monday that the PLA was able to protect China’s maritime territories but ‘at the moment China is not preparing to resort to military means – that would be the very last option’.”
- China to enforce fishing ban in disputed waters of South China Sea (chinadailymail.com)
- Chinese Goverment denies army at ‘combat readiness’ (chinadailymail.com)
- China, Philippines Agree to Show Restraint in Maritime Dispute (blogs.voanews.com)