China and Philippines to hold maritime talks in May

China and the Philippines will hold the first meeting of a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue in May, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said last week. “Currently, the two sides are maintaining friendly negotiations on the issue,” Ms Hua said at a press conference.

China is willing to strengthen dialogue with the Philippines to properly manage and control divergences and advance maritime cooperation to create a favourable atmosphere for pragmatic cooperation as well as the sound and stable development of ties, said Hua. She said the founding conference of the Joint Coast Guard Committee on Maritime Cooperation in February would deepen mutual trust and friendship between the two sides, injecting new vitality into the development of ties.