President Duterte wants former President Fidel Ramos as special envoy to China.
President Rodrigo Duterte offers former President Fidel Ramos as special envoy to China. This was after the Philippines won the arbitration case against China over the West Philippines Sea.
During his speech at the at the San Beda testimonial dinner held at Club Filipino in San Juan, the country’s Chief Executive said that he wants Fidel Ramos to negotiate with China.
“I would like to respectfully ask (former President Fidel Ramos) to go to China and start the talks,” he was quoted saying.
Meanwhile, Fidel Ramos, in an interview with ABS-CBN News, said that President Duterte may have been joking only when he announced his decision.
According to Ramos, he has not yet received the offer, adding that he was out of range when he disclose it.
“I think he just made that in jest because I’m busy writing my legacy for you young people and China is only one of my areas of interest. I have not seen the offer. I was out of range when he said it,” he said.
Department of Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay earlier said that the government is eyeing for a special envoy to China amid the issues in disputed West Philippines Sea.
Yasay said that the function of special envoy is different from the ambassador in China. He emphasized that the role of special envoy is to make back-channel talks with China.
On July 12, the United Nations (UN) Arbitral Tribunal ruled that Philippines has sovereign rights over the West Philippines Sea. However, China rejected the findings.