From Urdu Point News/Sputnik (Jun 21, 2019): Philippine Security Adviser Says Discussed South China Sea With Russia's Patrushev
Philippine National Security Adviser and Director General of the National Security Council Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon told Sputnik that he addressed the country's dispute with China over the South China Sea at his talks with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev on Friday
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st June, 2019) Philippine National Security Adviser and Director General of the National Security Council Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon told Sputnik that he addressed the country's dispute with China over the South China Sea at his talks with RussianSecurity Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev on Friday.
"We did. We shared some on the West Philippine Sea [the name for the disputed South China Sea in Philippine official government use] and the South China Sea because it is a really contentious area," Esperon said, when asked whether his talks with Patrushev touched upon the issue of tensions in the South China Sea.
The national security adviser reiterated that the Philippines were seeking peaceful resolution to the dispute, citing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's position that the country's relations with Chinashould not "start and end with the West Philippine Sea.
"While we intend to protect and preserve our sovereign rights, we are conscious also that the dispute could affect our other areas of relations like trade, economic trade, culture and other things," Esperon said.
The official noted that it was "fortunate" that Russia took the position of "non-interference" on the issue, while wishing the peace in the dispute-ridden waters.
The Philippines and China, in particular, have long been in dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea a major shipping route and home to fishing grounds that is also potentially rich in gas and oil.