China Welcomes Philippine Decision Not to Raise S China Sea Dispute in Laos

© REUTERS / U.S. Navy/HandoutChinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, photographed by a USN surveillance aircraft in 2015.
Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, photographed by a USN surveillance aircraft in 2015. - Sputnik International
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China appreciates the recent decision made by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte not to raise the South China Sea dispute at the upcoming East Asia Summit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday.

BEIJING (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Duterte reportedly said that he would expect talks to be held with China on the South China Sea dispute within a year, stressing that Philippines would not raise the issue at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in September.

"China welcomes the statement made by [Philippine] President Duterte that the Philippines won't raise the issue of the Arbitration's decision concerning the South China Sea at the upcoming summit," Lu Kang said at a briefing.

Beijing hopes for a peaceful settlement of the dispute through consultations and negotiations with the countries directly involved, and is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea together with the ASEAN countries, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed.

In this April 26, 2012 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese navy's missile destroyer DDG-112 Harbin fires a shell during the China-Russia joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea - Sputnik International
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"China expects such a dialogue with the Philippine side as soon as possible," he added.

A number of disputed islands, including the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands, are located in the South China Sea. Beijing’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, known as Nansha Islands in China, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves, run counter to those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

On July 12, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights to South China Sea resources and has violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines in the country's exclusive economic zone.

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