Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 20:43:30 -1000
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
From: Vincent K Pollard <pollard@HAWAII.EDU>
Subject: PH: China and Philippines to talk more about Nansha Islands
[CND, 11/18/98] Chinese President JIANG Zemin and Philippine President Joseph Estrada met in Malaysia on Tuesday during the sixth Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting, and agreed to settle their territorial dispute peacefully through further negotiations, AFP reported.
Philippine officials said that Jiang had invited Estrada to visit China and the trip could be as early as next year. The agreement on holding further talks on expert-level over the Nansha Islands dispute was reached last weekend when the foreign ministers of both sides met on the sidelines of APEC. These experts may have their first meeting as early as January.
Earlier this month, Manila issued a strong protest to Beijing over China's building military structures on disputed Mischief Reef in Nansha and demanded China to withdrew its escort navy ships from the area.
China has rejected the protest, insisting that the construction site
a fishermen's shelter. Besides China and the
Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claim
sovereignty over the whole or part of the Nansha Islands, known
outside China as Spratlys, which are believed to sit on large oil and
mineral deposits. (LIU Weijun, YIN De An)