China said interactions between the Philippines and the United States “should not be damaging” to the interests of other nations following the visit of US vice President Kamala Harris to the country.
“We are not against normal interaction between the US and the Philippines, but their interaction should not be damaging to other countries’ interests,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a press briefing Tuesday.
Harris on Tuesday visited Palawan, the province closest to the Spratly Islands in the hotly contested South China Sea.
In a speech, she said that “international rules and norms” must be upheld and the 2016 landmark ruling that invalidated China’s sweeping nine dash line claims over the South China Sea must be respected.
Beijing does not recognise the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
“Our view has always been that exchanges and cooperation between any set of countries should be conducive to the mutual understanding and trust among regional countries and the peace and stability in the region,” Zhao said.
“It should not target or hurt other countries’ interests,” he added.
Harris also met with fishers in a coastal village whose residents bear the brunt of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. She is the highest-ranking US official to ever visit Palawan.
In a meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday, Harris reaffirmed Washington’s “unwavering commitment” to its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines.
Category: China, Philippines