Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto (Source: globalnation.inquirer.net)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines is considering diplomatic initiatives and legal processes allowed under international law over China’s reported installation weapons systems on reclaimed features in the East Sea.

Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay said the government continues gathering information to verify the report by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies about China’s apparent militarisation in the disputed waters, including areas falling within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He said the Philippines is concerned about the information if it is true, adding that these actions will increase the tensions that already exist.

The diplomat did not elaborate what diplomatic initiatives and legal processes under international law he is referring to.

Instead, he reiterated the Philippines’ decision under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to put the territorial disputes with China aside in the absence of a “ready solution”, as well as reinvigorate the two countries’ economic and socio-cultural relations.

"We would like to make sure that while we are putting this issue of our dispute in the South China Sea on the back burner, we are not compromising or eroding our rights, as already declared by the arbitral tribunal," Yasay said.

He added that when the Philippines has a ready solution in the future, it will use the PCA decision as the basis to push ahead with the peaceful settlement of disputes./.