Palace welcomes China's 'no to war' statement
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, April 26, welcomed China's pronouncement that it doesn't want to go to war with the Philippines.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said this in a radio interview in reaction to the statement of Chinese ambassador to Manila Zhao Jinhua, who said China is not interested in going to war with any of its neighbors.
"That is beautiful, because everyone wants peace. Despite this kind of dispute, there are ways to peacefully end it through talks," Valte said.
The pronouncement came after the two countries, along with other Asia-Pacific countries, signed a naval agreement aimed at making sure miscommunication between ships at sea does not escalate into conflict.
The two countries have been embroiled in a territorial dispute, with the Philippines recently submitting evidence against China's claims.
The territorial dispute between China and the Philippines is said to be part of the agenda during the visit of US President Barack Obama to the country. He arrives on Monday, April 28.
"From where we sit, the United States has always been emphatic about their support when it comes to the rules-based approach that we have adopted with the reference to maritime disputes, especially in the West Philippine Sea," Valte said.
Drone technology vs China
Valte said the two leaders may discuss the proposal to provide drone technology to the Philippines to help the country ward off Chinese aggression.
In a letter addressed to Aquino released on Thursday, the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) – a group of businessmen and philanthropists known for their advocacy initiatives – asked Aquino to "please request and persuade President Barrack Obama to provide the Philippines with US drone technology" which could be a great equalizer against China's bullying tactics.
"We’ll go through the wishlist of that particular group. I’m not quite sure if all of those will be covered but certainly, in any visit that the President makes and in every visitor that the President receives...he always makes it a point to push for the welfare of Filipinos in and out of the country," Valte said. – Rappler.com