China: Yasay’s statement contradicts Duterte, Xi consensus

hina admitted that they did not like what Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto Yasay Jr. said during a get together luncheon meeting with media Thursday, which claimed otherwise what President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed on during the Philippine leader’s visit in Beijing in October 2016

“As we have noted, Mr. Yasay’s recent remarks apparently deviate from the consensus of the two leaders, go against the current trend of the sound and rapid development of China-Philippine relations, disagree with the overall stable situation of the South China Sea, and run counter to the shared desire of regional countries to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea and promote regional cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

“China finds them baffling and regrettable. We hope that Mr. Yasay can follow the consensus reached by the two leaders and the shared desire of regional countries, exercise prudence, and make concrete efforts to uphold China-Philippines relations and regional peace and stability,” he added.

Geng was responding to a question if it was true that China promised Duterte that they would not build structures on Scarborough Shoal as Yasay claimed.

“On the South China Sea issue, including on building structures on Huangyan Dao, China’s position is consistent and clear and is subject to no change,” he said.

The Chinese official further said President Duterte’s visit to China last year resulted in the two leaders agreeing to adhere to good-neighborliness and friendship, properly handling differences and pursuing common development.

The two sides have returned to the right track of properly dealing with the South China Sea issue through bilateral friendly consultations and have seen booming cooperation in various sectors.

Geng insisted that Yasay’s remarks were not consistent with what the two leaders had agreed on during last year’s visit in Beijing.