20 May 2017

News Story: China, Philippines confirm twice-yearly bilateral consultation mechanism on South China Sea

GUIYANG, May 19 (Xinhua) -- China and the Philippines Friday confirmed the establishment of a biannual bilateral consultation mechanism (BCM) on the South China Sea.

The announcement was made in a joint press release issued after the first meeting of the China-Philippines BCM on the South China Sea.

Under the BCM, officials from the respective foreign ministries and maritime affairs agencies will meet alternately in China and the Philippines once every six months.

Consensus on setting up the BCM was reached at the diplomatic consultations between the two foreign ministries this January, the release said.

During the just concluded first meeting, which was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Sta. Romana, both sides reiterated their commitment to cooperate and to find ways forward to strengthen mutual trust and confidence.

The two sides exchanged views on the importance of addressing concerns in the South China Sea and handling disputes there in an appropriate manner.

Noting the South China sea issue has "returned to the positive trajectory" in bilateral relations, Romana said in his opening remarks that the Philippines is confident in the resilience of ties with China.

Read the full story at Xinhua

NOTE: The “joint press release” Link in the above was added by PacificSentinel for clarity & context.