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Palace, military clear China, say no ‘intrusion’ Written by Fernan J. Angeles and Mario J. Mallari Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Palace, military clear China, say no ‘intrusion’

Malacañang does not consider Chinese vessels off the disputed Spratlys a provocative act while the military assured that the huge fishing fleet, escorted by Beijing-controlled surveillance ship, has not crossed Philippine boundaries.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, at a press briefing, yesterday said the Philippine government  believes that both countries, which have been locked in a standoff since April, would be able to resolve the conflict amicably, even as he claimed that Chinese official Xi Jinping as mentioning his government’s preference for a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute over the South China Sea.

“They have stated openly, very recently, Xi Jinping has already mentioned that they would prefer a peaceful resolution. Both countries have manifested a peaceful resolution to the differences. We are hopeful again, we are always hopeful that we can arrive at a peaceful resolution,” he stressed.

Asked for comment over report claiming a fleet of 30 Chinese fishing boats operating in disputed waters in the South China Sea, Lacierda  is not convinced that the situation has worsened as compared with that of two months ago.

“I think it has not worsened. There were instances, for instance, the vessels have withdrawn from Scarborough Shoal. They are back… Obviously, China has not taken any action — provocative action in terms of military action. And so, since there has been no military action, we are always hopeful that a peaceful resolution will be maintained by both parties,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune



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