China, Philippines to hold 6th BCM meeting on South China Sea

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Aerial photo taken on July 13, 2020 shows an expedition vessel in the South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and the Philippines will hold the sixth meeting of the bilateral consultation mechanism (BCM) on the South China Sea via video link in the near future, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a daily press briefing on Thursday.

The two sides will exchange views over the current situation in the South China Sea and maritime issues between the two countries, and explore ways to further expand exchanges and cooperation in areas such as maritime search and rescue, marine fishery, marine ecological and environmental protection, and scientific research, according to the spokesperson.

"The delegations of the two sides will be headed by China's Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao and Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Elizabeth Buensuceso, respectively," Zhao said, adding that the attendees will include officials from sectors such as foreign affairs, national defense, natural resources, agriculture and environmental protection.

"We hope this meeting will achieve positive results," he said.

Early in 2017, China and the Philippines established the BCM, aiming to build trust and promote maritime security and cooperation, he noted.

The two sides have held five meetings under the BCM, conducting in-depth communication and dialogue on bilateral maritime issues, properly handling maritime differences, and promoting exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as maritime search and rescue, maritime security, oil and gas development and marine fishery, said Zhao.

"The BCM has played positive roles in promoting the healthy and stable development of China-Philippines relations and maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea," he noted.

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