Thursday, August 30, 2012

China, 7 other countries, seek bilateral talks with Aquino at APEC summit

Eight countries, including China, have requested bilateral meetings with President Benigno Aquino III when he attends the 20th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok from September 7 to 9.

However, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario said Wednesday that, except for China, Aquino was likely to “prioritize” who else to meet with.

"There are eight requests, but the President has yet to firm up his schedule. He will have about three to four hours for bilateral meetings and each meeting would take about 30 to 40 minutes, so we will have to prioritize," del Rosario said.

"But I am sure the President will say yes (to China)," del Rosario said.

The other countries that have requested bilateral meetings with Aquino are Japan, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

Among the matters proposed for the talks are trade and investment liberalization, food security, prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, and improvement of transportation and logistics chains.

The row between the Philippines and China over disputed territory in the South China Sea, which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea, “will definitely be raised” when Aquino meets Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"Definitely we expect that the Spratlys issue or the West Philippine issue to be discussed somewhere in the bilateral meeting," although not in the summit proper, del Rosario said.

"APEC is not the proper forum to put forward a political issue. That will sound like that is off the priority agenda of APEC," she said.

Del Rosario said it is China that will most likely bring the Spratlys up, though

Aquino and Hu “will be assuring each other that we should go back to the starting point where everything was fine ... The nature of diplomatic relations is maintaining (the) status quo of peace."

A meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will represent President Barack Obama, is still up in the air, del Rosario said.

She said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will also hold bilateral talks with Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying.

The Philippines will host APEC in 2015, after Indonesia and China.

At the Vladivostok summit, Aquino will also be joined by Secretaries Gregory Domingo of Trade and Cesar Purisima of Finance.

Aquino will also attend the APEC Business Advisory Council on September 8.

The Philippine delegation to the ABAC are A. Magsaysay Inc. president Doris Magsaysay Ho, Jollibee Foods Corp. chairman Tony Tan Caktiong, and Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.-Interaksyon (August 29, 2012 12:16PM)

1 comment:

apple said...

Hope the issue of territorial dispute in Spratly islands will end in this meeting with the other countries.