23 May '11, 11am

On the sidelines of ADMM, China and the Philippines agree to avoid “unilateral action” in the Spratlys.

On the sidelines of ADMM, China and the Philippines agree to avoid “unilateral action” in the Spratlys.

MANILA - The Philippines and China pledged Monday to avoid "unilateral actions" that could further inflame tensions over rival claims to the potentially oil-rich Spratlys island chain. Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin and his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie made the commitment during a meeting in Manila, the two sides said in a statement. "Both ministers recognised that unilateral action which could cause alarm should be avoided," according to the joint statement issued after a closed door meeting. "Both ministers acknowledge the need to ensure that the South China Sea remains stable." Philippine President Benigno Aquino also stressed the need to avoid conflict when he met with Liang later in the day, his spokesman Ricky Carandang said. "Both sides went out of their way to be very cordial, very conciliatory," Carandang told reporters. The Spratlys is a chain of atolls a...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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