Ramos Invited to Beijing
Aug. 11, 2016 (EIRNS)—China Daily reports that Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, the third day of former Philippine President Fidel Ramos’s "ice-breaking trip" to Hong Kong on behalf of current President Duterte, that
"China is sticking to an open attitude toward all means of contact between China and the Philippines, and welcomes Mr Ramos to China."
It is not clear whether Ramos will travel on to Beijing on this trip, but this appears to be the official invitation he was waiting for.
Hua called on the two sides to make joint efforts to improve bilateral ties, restore dialogue and cooperation, and push forward the healthy and stable development of China-Philippines ties.
Chen Qinghong, a researcher in Southeast Asian and Philippine studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) in Beijing, said that China and the Philippines can start communications on some easier topics first (i.e., not on sovereignty issues) to create an atmosphere for dialogue on sensitive issues. However, he added that China’s stance on sovereignty will not be changed, since sovereignty is not a commodity to trade.
The return to Deng Xiaoping’s approach, to "put the sovereignty issue aside," is essentially agreed by both sides, although Obama is doing all he can to force Manila to put the Hague ruling on the agenda, which China will not accept.