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Direct line between PH-China defense agencies sought

February 18, 2023 People's Journal 211 views

CHINESE Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian is hoping to have a separate direct line between Beijing and Manila’s defense establishments amid growing tensions after the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) lased Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Malapascua last Feb. 6.

The statement was made Friday days after Beijing activated the communication line established between the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Chinese Foreign Ministry as a result of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s state visit to China.

“We are also exploring some new… more communication mechanisms and I do believe that we also need to have some mechanisms between either the Navies (or) defense establishments of our two countries,” he said in a media briefing.

Huang then called for “friendly consultations” saying parties should refrain from “hyping up” an issue, referring to the BRP Malapascua lasing incident.

Meanwhile, he maintained that the equipment used in the incident was “not a military-grade laser, which does not inflict damage on any either personnel or goods.”

He said the CCG already reached out to the PCG regarding the incident.

“Both sides have shown good intention to avoid such an incident from happening again,” he said.

“At the end of the day, that water is a disputed area so in order to avoid such incidents I think that both sides need to exercise restraint and refrain from taking any unilateral actions,” he added. Philippine News Agency