The headquarters of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (Photo: CNN)
The statement said the Philippines’ own similar experience revealed how much trust in a friendship is lost by it.
The DFA said it always values the maintenance of peace and stability in the East Sea and notes that such incidents undermine the potential of a genuinely deep and trusting regional relationship between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China. Given the positive momentum on the discussions on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), it is crucial to avoid such incidents and address that differences in a manner that enhances dialogue and mutual trust.
There is never a good time to indulge in provocations, the DFA said, adding that the continued strengthening of regional relations is especially critical in light of the ASEAN-China joint commitment to collectively tackle the ongoing crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, as declared in the Statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), issued on February 20, 2020.
The DFA recalled Vietnam’s humanitarian act of directly saving the lives of Filipino fishermen, stressing that it created much trust. “We have not stopped and will not stop thanking Vietnam. It is with that in mind that we issue this statement of solidarity.”
The Vietnamese vessel, number QNg 90617 TS, with eight fishermen on board, was fishing near Phu Lam island of Hoang Sa (Paracel archipelago on April 2 when a China coast guard ship hit and sank it./.
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