CHINESE Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said they are open to discussing the possibility of letting Filipinos fish at the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
“We can discuss the possibility,” Zhao briefly told reporters yesterday after the National Heroes Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Zhao said they want to discuss common interests in bilateral talks.
“But we do look forward to talk to the Philippines bilaterally... But right now we need to change our focus from differences to common interests so we can concentrate on cooperation that will benefit our people,” the Chinese envoy said.
“The Chinese community here, well, they are Filipinos of Chinese origin, I hope they can continue to make their contribution to the socio-economic develop and they continue to be law-abiding and to continue to be a force of peace and stability and prosperity,” he said.
Earlier President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech at the National Heroes Day commemoration cited The Hague ruling favoring the Philippines that Scarborough Shoal is a common fishing ground.
“If we continue to treat each other as brothers and continue to understand especially the plight of the fishermen... They are there because they are poor,” Duterte said in his speech, adding that he is all for peace.
“If the Chinese people this time find a place in their hearts for the Filipinos... I hope we treat each other as brothers, not enemies,” Duterte said after he reiterated that he will not bring up the arbitration ruling in the upcoming ASEAN Summit in Laos this September
He is hoping to have a warm atmosphere when he talks with China over the sea dispute ruling.