China: Philippines Ignoring Maritime Talks Proposal

China: Philippines Ignoring Maritime Talks ProposalChina: Philippines Ignoring Maritime Talks Proposal

China said on Wednesday the Philippines has ignored a proposal for a regular talks mechanism over maritime issues, as it repeated that its door was always open to bilateral talks with Manila on the South China Sea.

Beijing claims most of the waters, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade pass every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States. The Philippines has brought a case at an international tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands, contesting China's claims, a case rejected by China that wants to solve the issue bilaterally, Reuters reported.

In a statement released in both Chinese and English, China's Foreign Ministry said the two countries had agreed in 1995 to settle disputes in the South China Sea "in a peaceful and friendly manner through consultations on the basis of equity and mutual respect".