China, Philippines discuss joint oil and gas projects in South China Sea

Duterte meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

Duterte meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

Maintaining the spirit of their first consultation in Guiyang, China in May 2017, representatives of China and the Philippines on Tuesday agreed to promote peace and stability in the region, and reaffirmed the importance of keeping the policy of freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.

Whilst visiting, Australia defence secretary Gavin Williamson said sailing in the area will assert the rights of freedom of navigation, The South China Morning Post reported.

China has repeatedly accused countries outside the region - generally a reference to the and - of trying to provoke trouble in the South China Sea, while China and its neighbors are trying to resolve the matter through diplomacy.

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The two countries also agreed to address 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, in accordance with universally recognized principles of global law, including the Charter of the United Nations and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Seas.

While asserting his belief that the Donald Trump White House remains committed to Washington's network of alliances around the world, he added: "The US is looking for other countries to do more". Indeed, as I have observed previously, numerous inroads we have seen in Sino-Philippine ties under Duterte would have seemed unimaginable right before he took office, even if we have seen some of them tried by past Philippine leaders before him as well.

Donald Trump has been outspoken in his past criticism of China, and earlier this month nominated Admiral Harry Harris, the head of US Pacific Command, as ambassador to Australia.

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The Philippine president says he has no intention of going to war over territorial feuds but will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from waters in his country's exclusive economic zone. China offers great opportunities but it provides great challenges as well. "And this broadly ties with China's fear of having the disputes internationalized". "I think we have to work hard to keep the Americans engaged and to build relations with Japan and India to counterbalance China's rise".

Also in 2016, the United Kingdom said it would deploy the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Pacific and conduct overflights with fighter aircraft.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that he was aware of Williamson's comments.

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"So we would like to advise Australia to abide by its commitment and stop making irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea issue". However, Williamson emphasized that the United Kingdom supports the U.S.' approach.

During the meeting, the Philippines "brought up our territorial claims and sovereignty rights issues, and discussed how to manage and prevent incidents on the ground".

The media outlet said "China must take revenge and let it (Australia) know it's wrong".

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