Home China Philippines: Talks With China On South China Sea Dispute

Philippines: Talks With China On South China Sea Dispute


The Philippines is making significant efforts to bring China back to the negotiation table to resolve disputes in the South China Sea. This was confirmed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Tuesday.

Recent Developments in Diplomacy

Last week, the two nations held a working group meeting in preparation for a potential Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) meeting scheduled for July. Manalo shared this update during a senate inquiry. He emphasised that any confidence-building measures would not compromise the Philippines’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea.

Sovereignty and Terminology

The term “West Philippine Sea” is used by the Philippines to refer to the portion of the South China Sea that it claims. This area is crucial for the Philippines’ national interests and security.

The Nine-Dash Line and Regional Claims

China asserts nearly complete sovereignty over the South China Sea through its nine-dash line, a demarcation that overlaps with the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of several countries, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. This extensive claim has led to ongoing regional tensions.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

Arbitral Tribunal Ruling

In 2016, an arbitral tribunal ruled against China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, a decision that Beijing does not recognise. The ruling supports the rights of the Philippines and other neighbouring countries under international law.


The Philippines’ diplomatic efforts to re-engage China in talks reflect its commitment to protecting its sovereignty while seeking peaceful solutions. The upcoming Bilateral Consultation Mechanism meeting in July could be a pivotal moment in addressing the long-standing disputes in the South China Sea.

(With Inputs from Reuters)