BEIJING, June 2. /TASS/. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has welcomed the intention of newly-elected President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte to settle territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
"I noted the latest statements of the Philippine side. Doors for the Chinese-Philippine dialogue are always wide open. If the Philippines sincerely want to return to the path of dialogue and consultations, we welcome that," Wang said.
He added that direct dialogue and consultations "will facilitate overcoming the dead-end situation in the relations between the two countries." "This also facilitates peace and stability in the South China Sea. We gladly note the wise choice of the newly-elected Philippine government," the foreign minister noted.
Beijing has for decades been involved in a dispute with many countries in the region over the territorial jurisdiction of a number of islands in the South China Sea, where significant reserves of hydrocarbons have been found. This refers, above all, to the Xisha archipelago (the Paracel Islands), the Nansha Islands (the Spratly Islands) and Huangyan Island. Other countries involved in the dispute are Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. As of the end of 2013, China has been engaged in large-scale hydro-engineering and construction work on the expansion and development of the territories under its control.