MANILA—Former president Fidel V. Ramos on Saturday announced that they will report first to President Rodrigo R. Duterte before planning to go to Beijing, China for official talks.
Ramos, the country’s Special Envoy to China, has been tasked to initiate talks with the Chinese after the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China’s claims to the South China Sea have no basis in international law.
“Good question, we are here to report first to our appointing authority, which is President Duterte, but he is in Mindanao right now and may not be back right away. So we reported to two secretaries concerned, National Security Adviser, Vice Admiral (Vicente) Agdamag and the Department of Foreign Affairs represented by Ambassador Lea Rodriguez,” Ramos said.
He further said that they have done the official protocol reports.
“But as soon as they are back in Manila, we will report to the President personally and then he will tell us what is the next step,” he added.
The former president met with ranking Chinese officials in Hong Kong last August 10-11.
Ramos described the talks with the Chinese as “very, very hospitable”.
“But beyond that, very encouraging in the sense that (we have) common interest. Our common interests are the 2030 United Nations 17 Sustainable Goals. Can you imagine (what we can do if we are helping one another), poverty will be removed and (in the end) world brotherhood (will be established), and then World (War) III and violence will be (eliminated),” he said.
During their meeting in Hong Kong, Ramos said they talked about returning the status quo ante for fishing.
“We talked about fishing, (returning the) status quo ante (before the Scarborough Shoal incident in 2012 when China took control of the maritime area), fishing according to the rights accorded by tradition and that means, (the) Philippines, China and Vietnam (are part of the fishing tradition),” he said.
Ramos said he is hopeful that these talks would lead to bigger talks.