Washington: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has signalled that though tensions have eased between Philippine and Chinese forces over the use of disputed waters, other brewing conflicts may not be easily defused between the two nations.
President Aquino said that Manila and Beijing have withdrawn government ships from an area of the South China Sea known as the Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese fishing boats were operating in defiance of Philippine claims.
He said that even if a permanent solution to the standoff is achieved, it won’t easily transfer to other looming conflicts, including access to energy resources.
“This is a very small portion of the entire dispute,” the Wall Street Journal quoted President Aquino, as saying.
President Aquino said his country’s sometimes uneasy relationship with the Asian superpower holds implications for other nations, especially those competing for resources with the Chinese.
"If they do not conform to international law, there will be a lot of other countries that will find themselves like us, thinking, ``What should our relationship be with the Chinese?`,” he said.
President Aquino met on Thursday with US senators and Filipino business and civic leaders before a day of meetings with the Obama administration where the two sides are expected to discuss tensions between Manila and Beijing over fishing and energy rights in the South China Sea, among other issues.