MANILA—Former President Fidel V. Ramos, who has been named as special Philippine envoy to China, will fly to Beijing on Monday for initial talks with Chinese authorities on the peaceful resolution to the thorny maritime territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.
This will be the first trip of Ramos to China since he was named as special envoy by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last month.
The Philippines News Agency learned about the former President’s trip to China Sunday afternoon and was confirmed by his office.
Accompanying Ramos to China are former Secretary of Interior and Local Government Rafael Alunan, Chito Sta. Romana, and Sam Jones, grandson of the former President, who speaks fluently the Mandarin language.
No other details were disclosed about Ramos’ trip to China, except that he will be flying to Beijing on Monday as a special envoy representing the Philippine government to hold talks with Chinese authorities to find ways and means for a peaceful resolution to the territorial sea dispute between the Philippines and China.
The United Nations arbitral tribunal in The Hague issued a ruling in favor of the Philippines regarding the sea dispute with China.
Despite the ruling, China continued to occupy some of the islands in the Spratlys, driving away Filipino fishermen fishing in the area.
Last Wednesday, President Duterte said that Ramos will visit China as a special envoy.
Ramos, 88, served as Philippine President from 1992 to 1998 and has maintained good personal ties with China even after stepping down from office.
As a private citizen and senior statesman, Ramos was instrumental in the creation of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), a non-government and non-profit international organization in 1998, together with other world leaders, former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and former Japan Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa.
Ramos was formerly the chairman of BFA.
BFA was formally inaugurated on Feb. 27, 2001 in Boao, Hainan Province, China, which serves as the permanent BFA Headquarters. Since 2002, BFA has been holding its annual conference at Boao.
BFA has won great support from Asian countries and drawn extensive attention of the whole world. Now, it has become a high-end platform for dialogs among leaders of national governments, industrial and business circles, and academic circles of countries in Asia and other continents about the important issues in Asia and even the whole world.
BFA is dedicated to promoting Asian countries to achieve common development through further integration of regional economy.
The purpose of BFA is to base itself in Asia and promote and deepen the economic exchange, coordination, and cooperation within Asia and between Asia and other parts of the world. It also aims to offer a high-end dialog platform for governments, enterprises, experts, and scholars to jointly discuss economy, society, and environment and other relevant issues.
Through its working network with the political, business, and academic circles, BFA will serve the ever-growing economic cooperation among its members and between its members and other entities.