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Manila wants talks with Beijing on South China Sea, says Philippine foreign minister

MANILA — The Philippines is working hard to bring China back to the table for talks to resolve differences in the South China Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said on June 25.

The two countries held a working group meeting last week in preparation for a potential Bilateral Consultation Mechanism meeting in July, Manalo told a Senate enquiry on June 25.

"Whatever confidence-building measures we achieve, they will be not at the expense of promotion of our sovereignty, sovereign rights, as well as our rights and jurisdiction on the West Philippine Sea," he said.

The Philippines refers to the portion of the South China Sea that it claims as the West Philippine Sea.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea with its so-called nine-dash line, which overlaps the exclusive economic zones of rival claimants Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

A 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling, which Beijing does not recognise, invalidated China's claim in the strategic waters.

Philippines accuses China of using 'illegal force' to deliberately disrupt resupply mission