By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — Days before the inaugural meeting of the bilateral consultation mechanism between the Philippines and China, Beijing refused to comment on the reported halt of land reclamation activities in Scarborough or Panatag Shoal.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that Beijing's position on issues surrounding the shoal in the disputed South China Sea is consistent and clear.
"Whatever we choose to do or not to do is within our own sovereignty. China will properly deal with relevant issues," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing Wednesday.
Hua made the statement after being asked to comment on reports that China would not conduct land reclamation activities on Scarborough Shoal in the next 12 months.
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