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PH, China agree not to use force

BEIJING, China – The Philippines and China have agreed to exercise self-restraint and avoid threats or use force to avoid the escalation of the territorial conflict in the South China Sea.

The two countries have pushed for the peaceful resolution of the territorial row following the meeting between President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping last Thursday.

“Both sides exchange views on the importance of handling the disputes in the South China Sea in an appropriate manner,” Duterte and Xi said in a joint statement.

“Both sides also reaffirm the importance of maintaining and promoting peace and stability, freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea, addressing their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned,” they added.

The two leaders also recognized the importance of the universally recognized principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and the 1982 UNCLOS. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)